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Formal name: Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Related tests: Chlamydia

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To screen for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea

When to Get Tested?

If you have symptoms of gonorrhoea or are pregnant

Sample Required?

A swab of secretion or discharge from the infected area or alternatively the first portion of urine

Test Preparation Needed?


The Test Sample

What is being tested?

The test is looking for evidence of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea is easily treated but can cause severe reproductive and health problems if left untreated.

How is the sample collected for testing?

A swab is used to get a sample of secretion or discharge from the infected area such as the cervix, urethra, penis, anus or throat. The swab should be inserted into the urethra at least 2 cm. The swab then may be rolled onto a slide (not smeared) to better preserve morphological characteristics. Cotton or wooden swabs should not be used because they may be toxic to fastidious organisms. The first portion of a urine sample is used in some tests. Many doctors will take a sample from more than one body site to increase the likelihood of finding the bacteria.

Is any test preparation needed to ensure the quality of the sample?

Neisserias are relatively fastidious bacteria therefore efforts should be made to minimise the transportation time between clinic and a laboratory. A black top swab with charcoal transport media are recommended for culture.

The Test

Common Questions

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.