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Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative, non-moving, kidney-shaped bacterium that usually occurs in pairs (diplococci) with a diameter of 0.6-0.8 µm. It prefers temperatures between 26°C and 38°C and grows strictly anaerobically. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the cause of gonorrhoea, also known as ”tripper”. Humans are the only host of Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Gonorrhoea is the third most common sexually transmitted infectious disease. The cocci spread through sexual contacts without a condom (vaginal, anal and oral), as the transmission occurs exclusively through direct mucosal contact. It is estimated that up to 106 million new cases are diagnosed annually.
About half of all infections with the pathogen occur asymptomatically. In most cases, this results in mucous membrane infections of the urogenital tract, the anal canal or the pharynx. In men, a serious case of Neisseria gonorrhoeae can cause inflammation of the prostate and epididymis. In women, inflammation of the pelvis or fallopian tubes might occur. The incubation period can last up to 14 days.
The pathogen is transmitted exclusively through direct contact with the mucous membrane. Therefore, basic hygiene measures are usually sufficient. This includes hand sanitation and disinfection of the surfaces close to the patient, as well as the disinfection of the examination instruments used. It is not necessary to isolate the patient.
Since 2001, reporting of gonorrhoea is no longer mandatory in most of Germany. Only in the state of Saxony must direct pathogen detection be reported.
The required spectrum of activity against Neisseria gonorrhoeae is: bactericidal.