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Diagnostic Tests for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea: Diagnostic Tests

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Gonorrhea includes:

  • Discharge swab tests
  • Urine tests
  • Cervix swab test
  • Throat swab
  • Bacterial cultures - to confirm diagnosis and determine response of the bacteria to antibiotics

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Gonorrhea:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Gonorrhea:

Gonorrhea: DSTD (Excerpt)

Several laboratory tests are available to diagnose gonorrhea. A health care provider can obtain a sample of fluid from the infected mucus membrane (cervix, urethra, rectum, or throat) and send the specimen to a laboratory for analysis. Gonorrhea that is present in the male or female genital tract can be diagnosed in a laboratory by using a urine specimen from an infected person. A quick laboratory test for gonorrhea that can be done in the clinic or doctorís office is a Gram stain. The Gram stain allows the doctor to see the gonorrhea bacteria under a microscope. This test works better for men than for women. (Source: excerpt from Gonorrhea: DSTD)

Gonorrhea, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Doctors or other health care workers usually use three laboratory techniques to diagnose gonorrhea: staining biological samples directly for the bacterium, detection of bacterial genes or nucleic acid (DNA) in urine, and growing the bacteria in laboratory cultures. Many doctors prefer to use more than one test to increase the chance of an accurate diagnosis.

The staining test involves placing a smear of the discharge from the penis or the cervix on a slide and staining the smear with a dye. Then the doctor uses a microscope to look for bacteria on the slide. You usually can get the test results while in the office or clinic. This test is quite accurate for men but is not good in women. Only one in two women with gonorrhea have a positive stain.

More often, doctors use urine or cervical swabs for a new test that detects the genes of the bacteria. These tests are as accurate or more so than culturing the bacteria, and many doctors use them.

The culture test involves placing a sample of the discharge onto a culture plate and incubating it up to two days to allow the bacteria to multiply. The sensitivity of this test depends on the site from which the sample is taken. Cultures of cervical samples detect infection approximately 90 percent of the time.

The doctor also can take a culture to detect gonorrhea in the throat. Culture allows testing for drug-resistant bacteria. (Source: excerpt from Gonorrhea, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Diagnosis of Gonorrhea: medical news summaries:

The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Gonorrhea:


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