Microbiological analyses

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

The Bacterium

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gonococcus gram-negative aerobic which is present in the human being and which is sexually transmitted.


Clinical manifestations

In the human being symptoms of the gonorrhoea generally appears after 2-5 days (up to 30 days in some cases) after the infection. Symptoms can be a burning sensation during urinating, white, yellow or green leaks from the penis. In some cases there can be testicles pain and bulge. In men, the gonorrhoea can provoke an epididymitis which can take to infertility, if it’s not treated. However, in some men the gonorrhoea can be asymptomatic.
In women, the gonorrhoea is generally asymptomatic or it appears very softly with not specific symptoms. First symptoms can be a burning sensation by urinating, an increase of the vaginal secretion or blood leaks during the menstrual cycle. Anyway, in women there’re risks of serious complications (ex: PID, pelvic inflammatory disease).
Beyond infections of the urogenital tract, gonococcus can cause conjunctivitis in infants, arthritis and throat infection.
The gonorrhoea is not clinically distinguishable from cervicitis or urethritis caused by C. trachomatis. For this reason it would be recommendable to do a microbiological test to identify both germs.



After the general reduction of sexual transmissible illness (STI) observed in 90s and owed to the success of the national campaign HIV/Aids, there is now a new increase of STI. This could be linked to a loosening of the prevention among sexual active people, or it could be owned to an increase of made diagnostic tests.
Thanks to the obligatory declaration of the laboratories, in 2006 in Switzerland were signalled 889 cases of gonorrhoea. 774 of these cases (84%) belonged to the male population, while 145 (16%) to the female population. From February 2006, medical declarations are obligatory.



The PCR is the most rapid and sensible method to highlight the bacterium. The amplification allows to underline a highly preserved region of the molecule of 16S rRNA and of the gene cppB, located on a plasmid.


Sample taking

Eye’s, urethral, cervical and anal smear, urine and ejaculated.
Observation: to highlight the N. gonorrhoeae by means of PCR it’s not necessary a particular transport field.

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