Gonorrhea Biology & Genetics

Scientists have determined the complete genetic code, or sequence (genetic blueprint), of the N. gonorrhoeae genome. They are using this information to help us better understand how the bacterium causes disease and becomes resistant to antibiotics.

Researchers are trying to understand how gonococci infect cells while evading defenses of the human immune system. Studies are ongoing to find

  • How these bacteria attach to host cells
  • How they get inside cells
  • Gonococcal surface structures and how they can change
  • Human response to infection by gonococci

Together, these efforts have led to, and will lead to, further improvements in diagnosis and treatment of gonorrhea. They also may lead to development of an effective vaccine against gonorrhea.

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