Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can infect both men and women. Caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria, gonorrhea can cause infections in the genitals, rectum and throat. Although treatable, drug-resistant forms of gonorrhea are increasing.

Why Is the Study of Gonorrhea a Priority for NIAID?

If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and increased risk of HIV infection. Gonorrhea can also be passed from mother to child and cause blindness or life-threatening infections in the infant.

How Is NIAID Addressing This Critical Topic?

NIAID supports a comprehensive, multidisciplinary program of research on Neissesria gonorrhoeae (gonococci).

Multidrug-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Gonorrhea)

Another important area of gonorrhea research concerns antibiotic (drug) resistance. This is particularly important because strains of N. gonorrhoeae that are resistant to recommended antibiotic treatments have been increasing and are becoming widespread in the United States. These events add urgency to conduct research on and develop new antibiotics and to prevent antibiotic resistance from spreading.

Read more about multidrug-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae (gonorrhea)

Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Research

NIAID also conducts and supports research on sexually transmitted infections.

Information for researchers includes resources, information about funding, and ways to connect to other scientists researching sexually transmitted infections (STI) including gonorrhea.

Related Public Health and Government Information

To learn about risk factors for gonorrhea and current prevention and treatment strategies visit the MedlinePlus gonorrhea site

Content last reviewed on