Difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis

Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are both Gram Negative Bacteria. They are diplococci, non-sporing, non-motile and oxidase positive. But they have some differences which are as follows:



Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Neisseria meningitidis

1 Referred as Referred to as gonococcus. Referred to as meningococcus.
2 Agents N. gonorrhoeae is the agent of gonorrhoea. N. meningitidis is a major cause of cerebrospinal meningitis.
3 Vaccine Development No Serogroup A, B, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal infections can be prevented by vaccines.
4 Colony Morphology N. gonorrhoeae form smooth, round, moist, uniform

grey/brown colonies with a greenish colour underneath on primary isolation medium.

N. meningitides would form smooth, round, moist, uniform

large grey/brown colonies with a glistening surface and entire edges.

5 Morphology N. gonorrhoea is kidney shaped with apposing ends concave. N. meningitidis is semicircular diplococcus with flat apposing ends.
6 Autolyse May autolyse Autolyse
7 Maltose Fermentation No Yes
8 Nitrite Reduction N. gonorrhoeae doesn’t reduce nitrites. N. meningitidis can reduce nitrites in low concentrations.
9 Growth on Blood Agar N. gonorrhoeae grow less

well on blood agar than N. meningitidis.

N.  meningitidis grow well on blood agar than N.  gonorrhoeae.
10 Capsule No Yes.  The capsule is anti-phagocytic and is an important virulence factor.
11 Site of Infection Primarily causing infection of the anogenital tract. Colonizes the upper respiratory tract as a commensal and occasionally invades to

cause systemic disease. 

12 Pathogens It is always considered a pathogen. It is not always considered as pathogens.
13 Enzyme Production It doesn’t produce gamma-glutamylaminotransferase. It produces gamma-glutamylaminotransferase.
14 Specimen Collection Transport swab of endocervix, urethra, rectum, pharynx, conjunctiva, blood, joint fluid, aspirates from skin lesions. Collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood, swab skin lesions and nasopharynx.
15 Β-Lactamase Production Common Rare
16 Movement Movement of N. gonorrhoeae occurs at lower speed. Movement of N. meningitidis occurred at higher speed and with a larger number of retracting pili.
17 Pili N. gonorrhoeae most often moved using one retracting pilus. N. meningitidis most often used four pili.
18 Prevalence and Mortality N. gonorrhoeae infections have a high prevalence and low mortality N. meningitidis infections have a low prevalence and high mortality.
19 Superbug Considered as “superbug” Not considered as “superbug”
20 Pathogenesis N. gonorrhoeae can also cause conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, proctitis or urethritis, prostatitis, and orchitis. Cause meningitis and other forms of meningococcal disease such as meningococcemia, a life-threatening sepsis.

5 thoughts on “Difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis”

  1. Mortality rate of both is almost zero. Case fatality rate of N. meningitidis meningitis or sepsis is consistent. Mortality rate refers to deaths/population size.

  2. N. “g”onorrhea = Glucose Fermenter
    N. “m”enin”g”itidis = Maltose & Glucose Fermenter

    you’re welcome! ☺ 🙂

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