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​Gonococcus (Neisseria Gonorrhoeae) / GC Culture



Specimen Required

​Specimen collection from specific sites:
- Endocervix*: Collect endocervical specimens after inserting a speculum. Wipe away the cervical mucus with a cotton ball before taking the endocervical specimen.

- Urethra*: Collect the urethral specimen at least one hour after the patient has urinated. If no discharge is present obtain the specimen by scraping the mucosal lining of the urethra.

- Anorectal*: Collect anorectal swabs.

- Oropharynx* : Swab from the posterior pharynx and the tonsillar crypts.

- Conjunctiva*: In infants with conjunctivitis collect swab from the conjunctiva.

- Bartholin gland: Drain pus or fluid, submit in a sterile container.

- Skin lesions: A punch biopsy from the lesion is preferable to material aspirated from the lesion, submit in a sterile container.

- Joint fluid: Aspirate fluid from infected joints and send to the laboratory in a sterile container.

- Blood Specimens: Inoculate 10ml blood into a Anaerobic blood culture bottle. Advisable to send 2 sets of blood culture bottles.

*Specimen swabs are to be inoculated onto GC agar plates (obtainable from Client Services, Tel: 6321 4950/ 4952/ 4904) in the form of a “Z” at the bedside.

Storage and Transport

​All samples should reach the laboratory within two hours of collection. When a delay in the transport of samples for GC culture cannot be avoided, keep the plates at room temperature or 35°C in a candle jar (please see Remarks on how to set up a candle jar) and despatch to the laboratory as soon as possible. Do not keep any samples in the refrigerator.



Test Results

Neisseria gonorrhoeae reported;
No Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated

Reference Interval / Value

Turnaround Time

​3 – 5 days for urogenital cultures

5 – 10 days for samples from sterile sites

Day(s) Test Set up

​Monday – Saturday


​How to set up a candle jar :
(a). Use a big tin that can be closed tightly.

(b). Wet a clean tissue paper with tap water to humidify atmosphere. Place it next to the plate(s) or underneath the plate.

(c). The candle that is used in a candle jar should be thick, white, odourless, and smokeless because the burning of
coloured and scented candles may produce substances that are toxic to gonococci. Light the candle and place it on the stack of inverted agar plates with enough distance from the lid of the container, or place it next to the agar plates.

(d). Close the lid carefully and do not move the jar for 10 minutes.

(e). A properly burning candle in a closed jar will utilize oxygen and produce a 3% CO2 atmosphere, and humidity will be provided by the wet tissue paper.

Note: Do not place inoculated plates/media in the refrigerator. Leave at room temperature if no incubators are available.

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