The key difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis is that Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections show a high prevalence and low mortality while Neisseria meningitidis infections show a low prevalence and high mortality
Most bacteria are not harmful. However, certain species are pathogens of animals, plants and other living organisms. Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are two closely related pathogenic Neisseria species. They are gram-negative diplococci (kidney bean-shaped). Moreover, they are non-spore forming, oxidase-positive bacteria which are non-motile. Both are obligate aerobes as well as obligate human pathogens. N. gonorrhoeae causes gonorrhoea, which is a sexually transmitted disease. N. meningitidis causes cerebrospinal meningitis. N. gonorrhoeae infections show a high prevalence and low mortality. In contrast, N. meningitidis infections show a low prevalence and high mortality.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Neisseria Gonorrhoeae
3. What is Neisseria Meningitidis
4. Similarities Between Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and Neisseria Meningitidis
5. Side by Side Comparison – Neisseria Gonorrhoeae vs Neisseria Meningitidis in Tabular Form
What is Neisseria Gonorrhoeae?
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a gram-negative bacterial species which causes gonorrhoea. Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted disease which has a high prevalence but low mortality. N. gonorrhoeae is a non-spore forming, fastidious, non-motile, oxidase-positive bacterium which occurs as diplococci. This bacterium is kidney-shaped with apposing ends concave. It is an obligate aerobic bacterium which lives intra-cellularly inside neutrophils. It is not considered as a normal flora because it always behaves as a pathogen.
N. gonorrhoeae enter the human body via genital route. There is no vaccine for the infections of N. gonorrhoeae. N. gonorrhoeae infection is diagnosed via culture, gram stain, or polymerase chain reaction testing of a urine sample, urethral swab, or cervical swab.
What is Neisseria Meningitidis?
Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus, is the causative bacterial agent of cerebrospinal meningitis. It is a gram-negative, non-motile, oxidase-positive bacterium which exists as a diplococcus. It is considered as normal flora of the upper respiratory tract, and it may or may not become a pathogen. The infections of N. meningitidis have a low prevalence but have high mortality.
Unlike N. gonorrhoeae, N. meningitidis is not considered as a superbug. Moreover, N. meningitidis has capsules. This bacterium exists in both intracellular and extracellular forms. Compared to N. gonorrhoeae, N. meningitidis is a less fastidious species.
What are the Similarities Between Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and Neisseria Meningitidis?
- Both species are obligate aerobes.
- They are human pathogens.
- Moreover, they are gram-negative diplococci, non-sporing and oxidase-positive.
What is the Difference Between Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and Neisseria Meningitidis?
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human pathogen which causes gonorrhoea. On the other hand, Neisseria meningitidis is the bacterium that causes bacterial cerebrospinal meningitis. Neisseria gonorrhoeae is commonly known as gonococcus, while Neisseria meningitides is commonly known as meningococcus. The infections of Neisseria gonorrhoeae have a high prevalence and low mortality, while the infections of Neisseria meningitides have a low prevalence and high mortality. So, this is the key difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitides.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitides.
Summary – Neisseria Gonorrhoeae vs Neisseria Meningitidis
There are several different Neisseria species. Among them, N, gonorrhoeae and N. meningitis are human pathogens. N. gonorrhoeae is the causative agent of gonorrhoea while N. meningitidis is one cause of bacterial meningitis. However, N. gonorrhoeae infections have a high prevalence but low mortality. In contrast, N. meningitidis infections have a low prevalence and high mortality. N. gonorrhoeae is always a pathogen, not a normal flora. But, N. meningitides is a member of normal flora. Thus, this summarizes the difference between Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitis.
1. “Gonococcal urethritis PHIL 4085 lores” By CDC/ Joe Millar – This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL) (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Neisseria meningitidis CSF Gram 1000” By Microman12345 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia