A common STI caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae , a gram-negative diplococcus bacterium that is closely related to other human Neisseria species.
Men typically present with a urethral discharge; women are often asymptomatic, but may have vaginal discharge.
Risk factors include multiple sexual partners in recent months, known partner with gonorrhoea, drug use, prior STI, and men who have sex with men.
If left untreated, N gonorrhoeae can disseminate to areas of the body to cause skin and synovial infections; rarer complications include meningitis, endocarditis, and perihepatic abscesses.
High rates of antimicrobial resistance have been reported, and antibiotic treatment should be guided by local and national guidelines. The main treatment for uncomplicated gonorrhoea is dual therapy with single-dose intramuscular ceftriaxone plus single-dose oral azithromycin.
The treatment of N gonorrhoeae is important in the prevention of infertility, chronic pelvic pain, and ectopic pregnancy in women.
If acquired congenitally from an infected mother, the neonate can present with ophthalmia neonatorum, which left untreated can cause blindness.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative diplococcus bacterium that is closely related to other human Neisseria species.  Gonorrhoea is any manifestation of infection by N gonorrhoeae . Aside from causing infection in the lower genital tract, it can also cause conjunctivitis and severe disseminated infections, especially if acquired congenitally. The pathogen is almost exclusively sexually transmitted and can be found in the genital tract, pharynx, and rectum.
Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine
UCSD Antiviral Research Center
Division of Family Medicine
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
UCSD La Jolla Family and Sports Medicine
SM has received funding from NIH, CHRP, CIRM, and Gilead Sciences. SM is an author of a number of references cited in this monograph.
Ob/Gyn and Urology
Division of Urogynecology
Associate Residency Program Director
Temple University Hospital
VD declares that he has no competing interests.
Consultant in Genitourinary and HIV Medicine
Archway Centre & Mortimer Market Centre
EJ declares that she has no competing interests.
Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer