Chlamydia trachomatis—the causative agent of Chlamydia infection—and Neisseria gonorrhoeae—the causative agent of gonorrhea—cause a significant burden of disease globally. There were over 1.4 million cases reported in 2014 and an estimated 2.8 million new cases annually, including 350,000 cases of gonorrhea. Of particular concern, gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it, severely limiting available treatment options. Further resistance will significantly complicate the ability of providers to treat gonorrhea successfully. For this reason it is critical to maintain the capability to monitor and detect emerging drug resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Recommendations for Laboratory-Based Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Following the 2009 Expert Consultation the CDC released updated recommendations for laboratory-based detection of C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infections in 2014. The new recommendations provide information regarding optimal specimen types, the use of tests to detect rectal and oropharyngeal infections, and circumstances when supplemental testing is indicated. The recommendations are intended for use by laboratory directors and staff, clinicians and disease control programs.

Transportation of Specimens for Culture of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Currently, the only laboratory methods available to detect antimicrobial resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae require culture. This publication outlines the pros and cons of various culture transport systems to ensure good recovery rates of gonorrhea culture.

Etest® for Neisseria gonorrhea Training Module

Run Time: 15 minutes
Provides an overview of proper set up and interpretation of the Etest® method of antimicrobial susceptibility testing for Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Additional Resources

Survey Reports
(2011, 2007, 2004)

Issue Briefs
The Role of the Public Health Laboratory in STD Testing

Laboratory Recommendations
Laboratory Based Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhea

Training Resources
Etest™ for Neisseria gonorrhoeae Training Module

Lab Matters/Blog Posts
In 2016 STDs Still a Public Health Problem
The Problem with Clap in the Yap—A Valentine's Day Post
Hawaii's Unique Public Health Challenges: Antibiotic Resistance Gonorrhea

More Information

For more infomration contact, Anne M Gaynor, PhD Manager, HIV, Hepatitis, STD and TB Programs, 240.485.2739,