Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) | CDC

NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

Clinical Description

A sexually transmitted infection commonly manifested by urethritis, cervicitis, or salpingitis. Infection may be asymptomatic.

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

  • Isolation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae from a clinical specimen, OR
  • Observation of gram-negative intracellular diplococci in a urethral smear obtained from a man

Case Classification


Demonstration of gram-negative intracellular diplococci in an endocervical smear obtained from a woman, or a written (morbidity) report of gonorrhea submitted by a physician


A case that is laboratory confirmed

Related Case Definition(s)

Page last reviewed: April 16, 2021