Neisseria gonorrhoeae Culture

Abbrev Code:GCC   
Order Code:LAB3496Order Name:Neisseria gonorrhoeae Culture
Synonyms:GC Culture; Gonococcal Culture
CPT Codes: 87081 x1, 87077 x1
Turnaround Time:Performed 24 hours/day; results are reported within 3-6 days.
Special Instructions:Detection of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from urogenital, eye, throat, and rectal sites is also available using PCR; see Neisseria gonorrhoeae by PCR.

Collection Instructions

Specimen:Genitourinary, newborn eye, oropharyngeal, blood, joint, rectal or skin lesions; other specimen types depending on the clinical picture.
Container:See Collection Instructions
Collection Instructions:
  • Blood: Collect in blood culture vial and order BLDCX.
  • Fluid: Collect in sterile tube container and order aerobic bacterial culture.
  • Swab Collection

For direct specimen inoculation at patient bedside, bacteriologic media (GC kit) is available from laboratory. The GC kit consists of one Modified Thayer Martin agar plate and one biotransport CO2 generating bag. The agar plate requires refrigerated storage. The CO2 biotransport requires room temperature storage.

When inoculating agar plates from GC Kits, warm media to room temperature before inoculation with specimen. Transport to laboratory immediately.

FEMALE: Collect cervical specimen (see Cervical Culture). In addition, if there is purulent material in the urethra, collect with swab and inoculate directly onto warm plate. If there is no purulent material in the urethra, collect anal swab: Insert swab approximately 3 cm into anal canal. Move from side to side to sample crypts and leave for 10-30 seconds to allow for absorption of organisms. Inoculate directly onto warm plate. Do not make smear; insert inoculated plate into bio-transport container (type C) designed to transport specimens in CO2.

MALE: Collect urethral exudate with swab. If no exudate, use sterile bacteriological loop and gently scrape mucosa of anterior urethra. Alternately, flexible wire swab may be inserted into the urethra. Inoculate specimen directly onto warm plate and prepare smear. Anal culture: Same as female. Insert inoculated plate into bio-transport container (type C) designed to transport specimens in CO2.

Throat: Using sterile swab, swab from right tonsillar area across posterior pharynx to left tonsillar area and across to right tonsillar area; include areas of inflammation, ulceration, and exudation. Avoid touching buccal or tongue area. Roll swab directly on Thayer-Martin medium in "Z" pattern. Under rare circumstances, a throat swab may be received in Aimes Charcoal transport media. This must be plated within 12 hours of collection. This is not the preferred collection method and should only be used when no alternative is available. (A disclaimer statement will be added to final report.)  
Causes for Rejection:Refrigerated specimens; swab collection if not inoculated to plate media

Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Store at room temperature in CO2 transport container.
Shipping Instructions:Must be shipped in CO2 transport container. Ship at room temperature. Must arrive within 24 hours.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory   (Range, UMMC East Bank)


Reference Range:No growth.
Use:Detection of gonorrhea.

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