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Bacterial structure and functions
Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax)
Bacillus cereus (Food poisoning)
Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Diphtheria)
Clostridium botulinum (Botulism)
Clostridium difficile (Pseudomembranous colitis)
Clostridium tetani (Tetanus)
Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Strep)
Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep)
Bartonella henselae (Cat-scratch disease and Bacillary angiomatosis)
Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever)
Salmonella typhi (typhoid fever)
Yersinia pestis (Plague)
Vibrio cholerae (Cholera)
Bordetella pertussis (Whooping cough)
Francisella tularensis (Tularemia)
Haemophilus ducreyi (Chancroid)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Tuberculosis)
Mycobacterium avium complex (NORD)
Gardnerella vaginalis (Bacterial vaginosis)
Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)
Ehrlichia and Anaplasma
Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain spotted fever) and other Rickettsia species
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)
Borrelia species (Relapsing fever)
Treponema pallidum (Syphilis)
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Neisseria gonorrhoeae Characteristics
Neisseria gonorrhoeae Disease
Neisseria species overview
gonococcal p. 474
for gonococci p. 140
gonococcal prophylaxis p. 194
gonococci p. 140
culture requirements p. 124
Gram-negative algorithm p. 139
osteomyelitis p. 177
septic arthritis p. 474
STI p. 182
UTIs with p. 621
gonococcal arthritis p. 474
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also known as N. gonorrhoeae to its friends, is a gram-negative oval bacterium that infects humans, causing a number of infections including gonorrhea.
The word Neisseria came from Neisser Albert, a German physician who discovered it, while gonorrhea is from the Greek words “gonos” which means "seed", and “rhoe” which means "flow", meaning "flow of seed", an illustration referring to the penile purulent discharge, which was mistakenly thought to be semen in infected males.
Now, a little bit of microbe anatomy and physiology. N. gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative bacterium, because its cell wall has a thin peptidoglycan layer and so it doesn’t retain purple dye used during Gram staining.
Instead, like any other Gram-negative bacteria, N. gonorrhoeae stains pink with safranin dye.
N. gonorrhoeae typically live in pairs called diplococci, stacked side to side, so the pair looks like a coffee bean.
They are also non-motile, non-spore forming, and obligate aerobes, which means that they absolutely need oxygen to grow.
Finally, they’re catalase and oxidase positive - which means they produce both these enzymes.
N. gonorrhoeae grows on a special chocolate medium called Thayer-Martin agar, which mainly consists of sheep blood... err, yum?
Some antimicrobials, like vancomycin and nystatin are usually added to the Thayer-Martin agar, to inhibit the possible growth of undesired bacteria or fungi, and maximize the growth of Neisseria species.
However, other Neisseria species, like N. meningitidis, have the same properties.
So the maltose fermentation test is done to differentiate the two.
The gist of it is that N. gonorrhoeae can’t ferment maltose, whereas N. meningitidis can.
To check for this, a pure sample from the culture of the suspected bacteria, is transferred to a sterile tube containing phenol red-maltose broth, which is then incubated at 36 degrees Celsius for 24 hours.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative diplococcus, non-spore-forming, both oxidase and catalase-positive bacteria, which is known to cause a sexually transmitted infection (STI) called gonorrhea.
Gonorrhea manifests as urethritis in males and vaginitis and cervicitis in females, and if left untreated, it can progress to gonococcemia, and cause complications like gonococcal sepsis, septic arthritis, and endocarditis. Gonorrhea is diagnosed through a laboratory test of a vaginal or urethral swab, and is treated with antibiotics.
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