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Neisseria gonorrhoeae – Culture
Specimen Type:

​Genital swabs, non-genital (rectal, throat/pharyngeal, conjunctival, joint fluids, aspirates), sexual abuse and/or sexual assault cases in peri-pubertal and pre-pubertal children (vaginal, urethral, rectal, throat/pharyngeal)

Unsuitable specimens: Urine and seminal fluid are not acceptable specimens for Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture testing.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture charcoal kits are the optimal collection kit.  A bacteriological transport kit without charcoal is also acceptable.

Dry swabs and multi-organism transport kits are not acceptable for Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture and testing will not be performed. Do not use expired kits.

Collection information:

​To order collection kits or other PHOL supplies complete the Requisition for Containers and Supplies. The form should be faxed to Public Health Ontario Laboratory, Toronto at 416-235-5753 or your local PHOL.

Minimum volume required:



​Complete all fields of the General Test Requisition Form



Preparation prior to transport:

​Label the specimen with 2 patient identifiers and place in a biohazard bag and seal. Store at room temperature or incubate at 35-37°C.  Transport to the laboratory as soon as possible.

Specimens must be received at the testing laboratory within 72 hours of collection.​

Special Instructions:

​Follow the instructions found in the GC- Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture Kit Instruction Sheet.


​Specimens are tested by routine bacterial culture methods.
Confirmation and susceptibility testing is done on all Neisseria gonorrhoeae positive specimens. 
For susceptibility testing, refer to Neisseria gonorrhoeae – Susceptibility
All positive reports are phoned or faxed to the ordering physician.


​For guidelines on test of cure specimens, refer to the document titled: LAB-SD-004, Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae Specimen Collection Guidelines.
Culture is the specimen of choice for all potentially medico-legal specimens, i.e. pre-pubertal children, sexual abuse in peri-pubertal and pre-pubertal children, sexual assault and legal cases. 


Neisseria gonorrhoeae culture is performed daily, Monday to Saturday.
TAT is up to 5 days.


​Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for Neisseria gonorrhoeae are to be reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 14/05/2014 8:43 AM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion