Neisseria important to note that after a gonococcal

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative intracellular diplococci
bacteria isolated by Albert Neisser in 1879, but it has been known in ancient
Greek times through the writing of Galen. It causes the sexually transmitted infection
(STI) gonorrhea. CITE N. gonorrhoeae is an obligate aerobe that grows best at
human body temperature, roughly 35-37 degrees Celsius. The bacterium’s
reservoir is within humans only, though only a few species cause illness in
humans. N. gonorrhoeae is also the second-most common STI in Canada, with
Alberta showing an 80% increase over the 2014-2015 time period, with the
highest increases being among young Indigenous females and homosexual males. AHS,
3

Sexual transmission is possible through vaginal, anal, or
oral sex and may be prevented through the use of barrier protection. Neisseria
gonorrhoeae’s incubation period is 1-14 days, with most becoming symptomatic
within five days.4 Transmission from mother to child may occur during
childbirth, and may be prevented by antibiotic treatment of the mother before
birth and the application of antibiotic eye gel on the eyes of the newborn.1,
4 It is important to note that after a gonococcal infection, infected persons
do not develop immunity to future infections. Reinfection is possible due to N.
gonorrhoeae’s ability to evade the immune system by varying its Opacity (Opa) surface
proteins, which are part of the bacterium’s outer membrane.5

Neisseria gonorrhoeae can cause inflammatory infection at the
site of entry into the body, including the genitals, throat, and eyes. Infected
individuals may be symptomatic or asymptomatic, with women being more often
asymptomatic than men. Symptoms include urethral or vaginal discharge as well
as painful urination in men. If the bacteria is introduced to the throat or
rectum, localized pain, itching and inflammation can result.BOOK Untreated
infection may spread to the rest of the body causing a variety of tissue
damage, most notably sterility/infertility depending on sex of the patient.
Blindness can also occur if passed on from mother to newborn. 4

Diagnosis is through culture, gram stain, or polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) of a urine sample, urethral swab, or cervical swab.BOOK Due to
resistance to penicillin, current treatment in Alberta is with a drug cocktail consisting
of ever-increasing doses of azithromycin, cefixime and ceftriaxonethe. (AHS) Antibiotic
resistance is a growing problem due to N. gonnorhoeae’s recombinant abilities
as mentioned above. There is currently no vaccine available for N. gonorrhoeae
although efforts are underway to develop one.4 Because it is possible to
contract gonorrhea multiple times from the same partner notification and
treatment of sexual partners is highly recommended.