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:

S.N.CharacteristicsNeisseria gonorrhoeaeNeisseria meningitidis
1Referred asReferred to as gonococcus.Referred to as meningococcus.
2AgentsN. gonorrhoeae is the agent of gonorrhoea.N. meningitidis is a major cause of cerebrospinal meningitis.
3Vaccine DevelopmentNoSerogroup A, B, C, Y and W-135 meningococcal infections can be prevented by vaccines.
4Colony MorphologyN. gonorrhoeae form smooth, round, moist, uniform


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

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


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

5MorphologyN. gonorrhoea is kidney shaped with apposing ends concave.N. meningitidis is semicircular diplococcus with flat apposing ends.
6AutolyseMay autolyseAutolyse
7Maltose FermentationNoYes
8Nitrite ReductionN. gonorrhoeae doesn’t reduce nitrites.N. meningitidis can reduce nitrites in low concentrations.
9Growth on Blood AgarN. gonorrhoeae grow less


well on blood agar than N. meningitidis.

N.  meningitidis grow well on blood agar than N.  gonorrhoeae.
10CapsuleNoYes.  The capsule is anti-phagocytic and is an important virulence factor.
11Site of InfectionPrimarily causing infection of the anogenital tract.Colonizes the upper respiratory tract as a commensal and occasionally invades to


cause systemic disease. 

12PathogensIt is always considered a pathogen.It is not always considered as pathogens.
13Enzyme ProductionIt doesn’t produce gamma-glutamylaminotransferase.It produces gamma-glutamylaminotransferase.
14Specimen CollectionTransport 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.
15Β-Lactamase ProductionCommonRare
16MovementMovement of N. gonorrhoeae occurs at lower speed.Movement of N. meningitidis occurred at higher speed and with a larger number of retracting pili.
17PiliN. gonorrhoeae most often moved using one retracting pilus.N. meningitidis most often used four pili.
18Prevalence and MortalityN. gonorrhoeae infections have a high prevalence and low mortalityN. meningitidis infections have a low prevalence and high mortality.
19SuperbugConsidered as “superbug”Not considered as “superbug”
20PathogenesisN. 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.

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6 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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