Microbiology Time

The focus of this Microbiology Time is N. gonorrhoeae and its collection. So why did we decide to focus on this organism? Well, that’s clear: N. gonorrhoeae antimicrobial resistance has hugely increased in recent years, reducing the options for treatment and affecting more than eighty million new people in 2020, especially in the African and Western Pacific Regions. One key action WHO proposed to fight N. gonorrhoeae and its multi-resistant strains – gonorrhea superbugs or super gonorrhea – is to strengthen and make more effective surveillance screenings to control the microorganism’s spread and its resistance. Let’s explore three studies tackling the complex topic of N. gonorrhoeae sample collection:

  • The first study used eSwab to preserve samples that resulted positive for Gonorrhoea after a smear test. By analyzing these samples by culture and NAAT, Jett-Goheen and colleagues demonstrated that eSwab can maintain gonorrhoeae viability for at least 24 hours and stabilized nucleic acids to be analyzed by NAAT for up to five days.
  • The second paper analyzed the suitability of the eSwab for molecular diagnostics and deferred targeted gonorrhoeae culture, to allow selective and efficient culture based on MDX results. The Dutch researchers collected urogenital and rectal samples from almost 2000 patients visiting the STI Clinic in Amsterdam, using the standard method and eSwab. Showing that a targeted deferred N. gonorrhoeae culture is possible from clinical samples stored for up to 3 days in eSwab and that eSwab preservation is compatible with NAAT, this study was one of the first to confirm that eSwab allows prolonged transport time, preselection with NAAT, and subsequent N. gonorrhoeae culture.
  • The third study comes from South Africa. Here, the researchers evaluated the survival of gonorrhoeae from male urethral specimens collected using eSwab® at both room and refrigerator temperatures. The survival of N. gonorrhoeae at different temperatures was compared to culture obtained by ‘gold standard’ direct plate inoculation with a Dacron swab. Preserving eSwab samples for up to 7 days at different temperatures, L. Gumede and colleagues concluded that eSwab®-preserved samples should be transported and maintained at refrigerator temperatures and must reach the processing laboratory by at least (5 days) after collection.


Discover the complete studies below: