Gonorrhea Laboratory Information

At a glance

  • Find resources to help with laboratory-based detection for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, including antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
An illustration of a microscope with the bacterium that causes gonorrhea shown large enough for the human eye to see.

Suspected gonorrhea treatment failure

  • Healthcare providers and health departments can report suspected treatment failure through the Suspected Gonorrhea Treatment Failure Consultation Form. This includes cephalosporin treatment failure or any N. gonorrhoeae specimen with decreased cephalosporin susceptibility.
  • For questions about reporting a suspected treatment failure or resistant case, please email: GCFAILURE@cdc.gov
  • Isolates may be submitted to the CDC STD Lab for confirmatory testing when gonorrhea infections fail to respond to CDC-recommended therapy or isolates exhibit intermediate resistance or resistance.

Did you know?‎

Through CDC's AR Lab Network, the Maryland and Washington State Public Health Labs offer nationwide gradient strip method antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST)—at no cost—to assist in care of patients with potentially drug-resistant gonorrhea infections. Learn more in the fact sheet.

Laboratory guidelines

Recommendations for the Laboratory-Based Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae — 2014

Lab Trainings Available ‎

Visit the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) website to access a series of free, interactive modules for an introduction to STI diagnostics or a refresher for seasoned laboratorians. One of the short modules focuses on antimicrobial susceptibility testing and the Etest®.


United States




Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme (AGSP) annual reports


Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory

United Kingdom

Culture Collections including the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) for bacteria