Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Valeria Fabre, M.D.


  • Gram-negative diplococcus, oxidase and catalase-positive.
    • Grows best on blood agar medium or chocolate medium (blood heated at 176-194o F, Fig 1).
      • Has a loose capsule and pili. Antigenic variation of pili can be used for epidemiological characterization.
      • Strains with nutrient requirements for arginine, hypoxanthine or uracil are more likely to cause asymptomatic infection.
  • Infects surfaces lined with columnar epithelial cells: endocervix, urethra, anogenital and oropharyngeal mucous membranes, conjunctiva.
  • Always considered pathogenic when identified.

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Last updated: March 10, 2021