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Gonorrhea testing is sampling of fluid exudates from the body to determine the presence of gonorrhea bacterium in the body. There are several known methods in order to test for the bacterium. These methods commonly involve either multiplication of the bacterium itself or of the genetic material. Adding substances that identify the gonorrhea bacterium is another known method.

The bacterium that causes gonorrhea is commonly called gonococcus. It goes by the scientific term, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The various methods of gonorrhea testing are directed at determining whether the bacterium has attacked the body.

Foremost, gonorrhea testing involves collection of fluid discharges from the infected sites of the body such as the urethra. Urine may also be used as a sample.

The multiplication of bacterium is done through gonorrhea culture. This is the most common method of gonorrhea testing. Bacteria culture is done by adding substances to the samples. Added substances encourage bacteria growth. The advantages of this type of gonorrhea testing include determining the kind of antibiotics the bacteria strain is resistant to. Further, its test results are admissible in courts.

A more preferred, analyzes samples on the molecular level. This method of gonorrhea testing is known as Nucleic acid hybridization test or DNA test. One of the advantages of this method is that it specifies the gonorrhea bacterium apart from the Chlamydia strain. Infection from Chlamydia exhibits symptoms identical to that of gonorrheal symptoms.
Though considered the standard in gonorrhea testing, it is not always accurate. Further, molecular test results require validation through the same or other methodologies.

A more accurate method is the nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). NAAT, like nucleic acid hybridization test, identifies Neisseria gonorrhoeae on the DNA or molecular level. NAAT achieves this by making multiple copies of the bacterium.
Two other gonorrhea testing methods are considered less reliable.

One is the Gram stain test. This method is done by adding a dye on a fluid sample placed on a microscope slide.

Another lesser reliable method is the enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). This type of test rather aims at detecting antigens triggered by the presence of gonorrhea bacteria in the body.

There are five currently known methods of gonorrhea testing. Each poses its own potentials as well as limitations. Accuracies also differ. Basically, though, the aim is to identify whether bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae is present in the fluid sample. If the specimen is found to contain the bacteria, then the patient is likely infected with gonorrhea.


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