July 14th, 2011 | Published in Gonorrhea Testing
There are several types of gonorrhea tests to screen for the disease today. A gonorrhea test is necessary for anyone whose sexual behavior may have resulted in exposure to the disease. A gonorrhea test can and should be administered even in the absence of symptoms.
Types of Gonorrhea Tests
STD testing for gonorrhea requires a sample of bodily fluid or urine. A gonorrhea test may include one of the following:
Nucleic acid amplification tests: These types of gonorrhea tests identify and copy the DNA of gonorrhea-causing bacteria. These tests can be performed on a urine sample or on a sample from the potentially infected area of the body.
Nucleic acid hybridization tests: Also known as DNA probe tests and molecular probe tests, these types of gonorrhea tests are performed on body fluid collected from the potentially infected area, generally the cervix or urethra. These tests are designed to detect the DNA of gonorrheal bacteria.
Gonorrhea cultures: These types of gonorrhea tests are performed on a sample from the potentially infected area of the body, which can include the urethra, cervix, eye, rectum, or throat. The sample is then combined with materials that induce bacterial growth indicative of gonorrhea. Gonorrhea cultures can be used to determine whether bacteria are antibiotic-resistant.
Gram stains: These types of gonorrhea tests are more commonly performed on males based on penile fluid samples. The fluid is stained with a dye and analyzed via microscope to detect gonorrheal bacteria. The gram stain test is less reliable than a culture or molecular probe test for detecting infection, but it's capable of producing faster results.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA, EIA): These types of gonorrhea tests are performed on cervical or penile fluid and detect substances capable of triggering the immune system to fight infection. These tests are less accurate than gonorrhea cultures.