Gonorrhea Essay

1000 words - 4 pages

The leading cause of the disease Gonorrhea is the proliferation of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, also known as gonococci or gonococcus. This bacterium is a gram-negative diplococcus, meaning it has a thin peptidogylcan layer in its cell wall and it is spherical in shape and found in pairs. The organism is usually found in the cell in a phagocytic leukocyte, with various nuclei shapes. Because the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae is found within a phagocytic white blood cell, it is unknown whether or not the bacteria is in the process of being killed or if they survive indefinitely. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is reported and notified as one of the most common bacterium affecting the reproductive system in humans. While Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease, it is not limited to only the reproductive system, for it can infect other areas of the human body.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae possess a typical gram negative outer membrane that is composed of proteins, a thin layer of peptidoglycan, phospholipids, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The bacterium has fimbriae, which are finger like projections extending several micrometers from its cell surface and is thinner than a flagellum. They play a major role in adherence to the mucus membrane of its host and as virulence factors, mediate infection of the host cells. As mentioned above, Neisseria gonorrhoeae is diplococcus, meaning it is paired and spherical-shaped. It is non-sporing and has a twitching motility. This twitching motility enables the bacterium to form biofilms. Biofilms is defined as a complex collection of microbes and it can be either benefical or harmful. During growth, Neisseria gonorrhoeae releases resolvable fragments of peptidoglycan. These molecules are implicated in the pathogenesis of different forms of gonococcal infection. A major peptidoglycan fragment released by N. gonorrhoeae is indistinguishable to the tracheal cell toxin of Bordetella pertussis and has been shown to kill ciliated or fringe of hair like fallopian tube cells in organ culture. The presence of two or more enzymes with potentially redundant functions either indicates that gonococci have an elaborate backup system for cell wall processes or may suggest that the enzymes have different functions or are differently regulated or localized.
Techniques that can be used to isolate the bacteria, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, are Gram Staining, oxidase test, and a catalase test.
The transmission of Gonorrhea is strictly direct contact, most commonly transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. Transmission of this contagious sexual disease also includes having direct contact with infected bodily fluids. For example, a mother could pass on the infection to her newborn during childbirth. Gonorrhea is an infection of the reproductive system in either women or men. However, it can be acquired at any point of sexual contact, including oral-pharyngeal and anal.
During infection, the gonococcus attaches to the...

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