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Neisseria gonorrhoeae 

Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Chapter:
Neisseria gonorrhoeae
Author(s):

Jackie Sherrard

, and Magnus Unemo

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0110
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date: 02 March 2021

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a Gram-negative, intracellular diplococcus that is transmitted by direct inoculation of infected secretion from one mucosa to another. It primarily colonizes the columnar epithelium of lower genital tract, only occasionally spreading to the upper genital tract or causing systemic disease. Oropharyngeal and rectal infections are common in men who have sex with men but also occur in women. N. gonorrhoeae is almost exclusively transmitted by sexual activity. Oropharyngeal and rectal infections usually produce no symptoms; disseminated gonococcal infection is a comparatively benign bacteraemia affecting joints (particularly shoulder and knee) and skin; traditionally more common in women than men. The gonococcus has adapted rapidly to prevalent antimicrobial usage, leading to resistance to all antibiotics used for treatment, notably penicillins, fluoroquinolones, macrolides, tetracycline, and cephalosporins. This development has resulted in major concerns internationally and the introduction of international and national action/response plans as well as dual antimicrobial therapy.

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