With the increase in the rate of new cases every year, today, gonorrhea is becoming the most common Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) worldwide.
It is a highly contagious disease, which is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Gonorrhea can infect both men and women. In women, it can infect your vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes. Moreover, it can also infect your mouth, throat and anus.
Today, you have several laboratory tests available to diagnose gonorrhea. Its diagnosis tests are simple. It takes just a few minutes. Basically, these tests try to locate the trace of the gonorrhoeae bacteria in your body.
A health care provider can diagnose gonorrhea by collecting a sample fluid from the infected mucus membrane: cervix, urethra, rectum, or throat and send it to the laboratory for examination.
Moreover, these tests can also identify other STDs, such as chlamydia, syphilis and HIV that commonly occur with gonorrhea.
Actually, the testing technologies are subdivided into two categories: batch testing in a laboratory and point-of-care testing for single or a limited number of tests.
Laboratory-based tests include culture, NAATs, nucleic acid hybridization, and ELISA, EIA tests whereas Point-of-care tests have long included the Gram-stained tests.
Gonorrhea culture: This is done on a sample of body fluid taken from the infected area (the cervix, urethra, eye, rectum, or throat) because it is combined with elements that promote the development of gonorrhea bacteria. In contrast with other gonorrhea tests, a culture can find out whether the bacteria are resistant to specific antibiotics.
Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT): The preferred testing method currently in use is Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT). It can identify and create several copies of gonorrhea bacteria’s genetic material (DNA). It includes polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) and transcription mediated amplification (TMA), which are very accurate and easily be done either on a body fluid sample collected from the infected area.
Nucleic Acid Hybridization Test (DNA probe test, molecular probe test): Actually, the molecular probe testing determines the gonorrhea bacteria’s genetic material (DNA). Moreover, this sample test is done on the body fluids collected from the infected area, mostly from the cervix or the urethra. Often, the test results of the sample fluids collected from the throat are always not accurate.
Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA, EIA): This test is done on the sample fluids taken especially from the penis or cervix to identify the elements that activate the immune system to fight against the gonorrhea infection. In detecting the gonorrhea, this test is less accurate than a culture.
Gram Stain: This is a widely used method of staining bacteria as a support to their identification. This test is typically done on a fluid sample collected from the cervix.
Actually, the fluid is spread on a microscope slide and stained using a dye to help identify gonorrhea bacteria. Moreover, for detecting gonorrhea, this test results are less consistent than a culture or molecular probe test, especially when done on a sample from the cervix. However, it gives you faster results than other testing methods.