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Gonorrhea Laboratory Information Identification of N. gonorrhoeae and Related Species

Natural Habitat of Neisseria and Related Species

Most Neisseria and related species are normal flora in humans and animals (Table 2); their host range is shown in Table 2. However, some species such as N. gonorrhoeae are pathogens in normal hosts and those species listed as commensals may be opportunistic pathogens.

Table 2. Host Range of Neisseria species, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Kingella denitrificans

SpeciesHostPathogen/Commensal
HUMAN
N. gonorrhoeaeManPathogen
N.meningitidisManOccurs in carrier state
Some strains cause epidemics/pandemics
N. lactamicaManCommensal; more frequent in children than adults
N. polysaccareaManCommensal
N. cinereaManCommensal
N. flavescensManIsolated from outbreak of meningitis
Apart from the original description, there are no reliable isolations of this species; strains isolated as N. flavescens were probably N. cinerea or N. polysaccharea
 
N. subflava Biovar subflavaManCommensal
N. subflava Biovar flavaManCommensal
N. subflava Biovar perflavaManCommensal
N. siccaManCommensal
N. mucosaManCommensal
Similar strain isolated from dolphins
N. elongataManCommensal
M. catarrhalisManPossibly normal flora of the nasopharynx
Causes respiratory tract infections including otitis media and sinusitis
K. denitrificansManCommensal
ANIMAL
N. canisCatCommensal
N. denitrificansGuinea pigCommensal
N. weaveriDogCommensal in the upper respiratory tract of dogs; isolated from dog bites in humans
N. iguanaeIguanaCommensal
N. ovis*Sheep
Cattle
Causes keratoconjunctivitis in sheep
N. caviae*Guinea pigCommensal
N. cuniculi*RabbitCommensal
N. macacaeMonkeyCommensal

*Species incertae sedis, taxonomic position uncertain

 
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