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What is Neisseria?

What is Neisseria?

A LARGE GENUS OF BACTERIA THAT FORM COLONIES ON THE MUCOSAL SURFACES OF ANIMALS

Of the 11 species that impact humans, 2 are known pathogens. Pathogens are parasitic bacteria that live off of a host. The pathogens include:

Neisseria meningitidis
Neisseria gonorrhoeae

A portion of those names should look familiar, but just in case…
N. meningitidis is one of the most common causes of bacterial meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia and N. gonorrhoeae causes… gonorrhoeae?! Both of which are human only pathogens.

These pathogenic species require iron for survival and obtain it by direct uptake of iron-bound host proteins, including hemoglobin.

In a laboratory, in vitro cultivation of these species occurs on enriched blood agar plates (BAP). Chocolate Agar is a variant of BAP that contains red blood cells that have been lysed by slowly heating them until they burst. Both pathogenic species of Neisseria culture are on Chocolate Agar.

As you may have guessed, the name is based on color and appearance of the media. It contains no actual chocolate.

If you would like more information on Chocolate Agar or Blood Agar Plates, please contact us today!

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