Notes on Neisseria

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Genus: Neisseria.

• Gram - ; diplococci that is oxidase positive.

Neisseria meningitides.

• Grows on chocolate agar in 5% CO2; ferments maltose.

• Found in human nasopharyngeal area.

• Spread by respiratory droplets, then to meninges through blood.


• Polysaccharide capsule is antiphagocytic.

• IgA protease allows oropharynx colonization.

• Endotoxin (LPS): fever, septic shock in meningococcemia.

• Pili and outer membrane proteins help in colonization and invasion.


• Meningitis and Meningococcemia.

• Abrupt fever, chills, malaise, prostration, and rash.

• Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome: DIC, coma, shock, death.


• Penicillin G or ceftriaxone.


• Vaccine; rifampin or ciprofloxacin.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gonococcus):

• Gram -; diplococci.

• Detected by urethral smear of symptomatic male.

• Grows on Thayer-Martin medium.

• Oxidase positive, no maltose fermentation, no capsule.


• Human genital tract.


• Sexual spread; birth.


• Pili: attachment, antiphagocytic, and antigenic.

• IgA protease: colonization and uptake.


• Gonorrhea.

• Leads to blindness in infants.


• Ceftriaxone.


• Condoms; silver nitrate or erythromycin ointment in eyes at birth.

Moraxella catarrhalis:

• Upper respiratory tract infections.

• Otitis media, bronchitis, bronchopneumonia in elderly with COPD.

Additional Readings:

Basic Bacteriology

1. Bacterial Locations and Toxins
2. Growth Medias and Oxygen Requirements
3. Staphylococus
4. Streptococcus
5. Enterococcus
6. Bacillus
7. Listeria
8. Corynebacterium
9. Actinomyces
10. Nocadria
11. Mycobacterium
12. Clostridium
13. Neisseria
14. Pseudomonas
15. Legionella
16. Bordetella
17. Francisella
18. Brucella
19. Campylobacter
20. Escherichia
21. Shigella
22. Klebsiella
23. Salmonella
24. Yersinia
25. Proteus
26. Vibrio
27. Pasteurella
28. Haemophilus
29. Bacteriodes and Prevotella
30. Treponema
31. Borrelia
32. Rickettsia
33. Coxiella
34. Ehrlichia
35. Chlamydia
36. Mycoplasma
37. What is an ELEK's Test?
38. Causes of Orchitis
39. What is Leprosy?
40. What is Folliculitis?
41. What is Botulism?
42. How to interpret PPD (Purified Protein Derivative) results?
43. Prenatal Infections

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1. Bacterial vs viral infections

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