The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: GC APTIMA®, GC TMA, Hologic, Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA TMA, NG APTIMA®, NG TMA

Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

The test is looking for presence of the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 700,000 people in the U.S. get new gonorrheal infections each year. While many men with gonorrhea will experience symptoms, most women do not, or will mistake gonorrhea symptoms for a bladder or other vaginal infection. For men, symptoms usually appear within 2 to 5 days of infection but can take up to 30 days. Women who experience symptoms usually do so within 10 days of infection.
*Important Information on Lab Test Processing Times: Ulta Lab Tests is committed to informing you about the processing times for your lab tests processed through Quest Diagnostics. Please note that the estimated processing time for each test, indicated in business days, is based on data from the past 30 days across the 13 Quest Diagnostics laboratories for each test. These estimates are intended to serve as a guide and are not guarantees. Factors such as laboratory workload, weather conditions, holidays, and the need for additional testing or maintenance can influence actual processing times. We aim to offer estimates to help you plan accordingly. Please understand that these times may vary, and processing times are not guaranteed. Thank you for choosing Ulta Lab Tests for your laboratory needs.

The Gonorrhea test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA Transcription-Mediated Amplification (TMA) test is a sophisticated molecular diagnostic assay used to detect the presence of gonorrhea-causing bacteria's RNA. Utilizing transcription-mediated amplification, the test amplifies the RNA of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to detectable levels, allowing for precise identification even in samples with low bacterial count.

Also Known As: GC Test, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae test, Gonorrhoeae test

Collection Method: Urine Collection

Specimen Type: Urine

Test Preparation: The patient should not have urinated for at least one hour prior to specimen collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen.

2 mL urine using APTIMA® Urine Specimen Collection Kit.

Alternative Specimen(s) 

Urine (no preservatives): 2 mL of urine, specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® Urine Transport Medium within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed • ThinPrep® vial • SurePath™ vial

Urine: Patient should not have urinated within one hour prior to collection. Female patients should not cleanse the labial area prior to providing the specimen. Direct patient to provide a first-catch urine (a maximum of 20-30 mL of the initial urine stream) into a urine collection cup free of any preservatives. 2 mL of urine specimen must be transferred into the APTIMA® specimen transport within 24 hours of collection and before being assayed. Use tube provided in the urine specimen collection kit for urine specimens. The fluid (urine plus transport media) level in the urine tube must fall within the clear pane on the tube label.

Transport Container: APTIMA® Transport tube

When is a Gonorrhea test ordered?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, all sexually active women under the age of 25 and sexually active women beyond the age of 25 who are at elevated risk should have a yearly gonorrhea screening. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Preventive Services Task Force both urge routine screening for these women.

Men who have intercourse with other men should get gonorrhea screening at least once a year, according to the CDC. Routine screening for sexually active, heterosexual guys is not recommended by health organizations. When there is a large number of cases of STDs in the community, for example, healthcare providers may prescribe screening to their patients.

When a person's sexual partner has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, or if the individual shows signs and symptoms of the infection, gonorrhea testing may be recommended.

Three months following gonorrhea therapy, women and men should be tested again.

What does a Gonorrhea Urine test check for?

If not diagnosed and treated, gonorrhea is a common bacterial sexually transmitted illness that can lead to serious consequences. Gonorrhea testing determines whether a person's infection is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The importance of gonorrhea screening, diagnosis, and treatment in reducing long-term consequences and the spread of the infection to others cannot be overstated.

More than 820,000 people in the United States contract new gonorrheal infections each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but only about half of these infections are reported to the CDC. In the United States, sexually active teenagers, young adults, and African Americans have the highest reported rates of infection.

Sexual contact (oral, vaginal, or anal) with an infected partner is the most common way for gonorrhea to spread. Multiple sex partners, coinfection or previous infection with another STD, and not wearing a condom appropriately and consistently are also risk factors.

While some males with gonorrhea will experience symptoms, the majority of women will not or will confuse gonorrhea symptoms with those of a bladder or other vaginal illness. Symptoms in men usually emerge 2 to 5 days after infection, but they can take up to 30 days. Symptoms usually appear within 10 days of infection for women. Because the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea are similar to those of another STD, chlamydia, and can be misinterpreted, testing for both diseases are sometimes performed at the same time.

Antibiotics are generally prescribed to treat gonorrhea. Gonorrhea can have catastrophic consequences if it is not recognized and treated.

Untreated gonorrhea infections in women can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can develop days to months after infection and cause consequences.

Untreated gonorrhea can spread to the blood (septicemia) or joints, leading to disseminated gonococcal infection, a dangerous illness. Fever, numerous skin lesions, severe joint swelling, infection of the inner lining of the heart, and inflammation of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord are all signs of DGI. In infants born to infected moms, DGI symptoms include arthritis, meningitis, and sepsis, a serious, life-threatening illness.

Antibiotics identical to those used to treat simple gonorrhea might be used to successfully treat DGI. Treatment-resistant gonorrhea, on the other hand, is becoming more common. To treat all uncomplicated gonococcal infections in adults and adolescents in the United States, CDC guidelines presently recommend dual therapy with ceftriaxone and azithromycin. If a patient's symptoms do not improve following therapy, a healthcare provider may need to do additional tests, including susceptibility testing.

Lab tests often ordered with a Gonorrhea test:

When a Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation for sexually transmitted infections. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Chlamydia trachomatis RNA TMA Test:

    • Purpose: To detect Chlamydia trachomatis, another common STI.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Gonorrhea and chlamydia often co-occur, so it is standard practice to test for both, especially since they can have similar symptoms or be asymptomatic.
  2. Syphilis RPR:

    • Purpose: To test for syphilis, another STI.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Similar to gonorrhea and chlamydia, syphilis can coexist with other STIs, and its identification is essential for proper treatment and prevention of complications.
  3. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Tests:

    • Purpose: To screen for hepatitis B and C infections.
    • Why Is It Ordered: These viral infections can be transmitted sexually or through other blood-related means and can co-occur with other STIs.
  4. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To evaluate overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Though not directly related to gonorrhea, a CBC can help assess the general health status and detect signs of infection.
  5. Urinalysis:

    • Purpose: To analyze the content of urine.
    • Why Is It Ordered: In cases of urethritis, which can be caused by gonorrhea, urinalysis may reveal signs of inflammation or infection.
  6. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Type 1 and 2 Serology:

    • Purpose: To test for past or present herpes simplex virus infection.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Herpes can cause genital ulcers and may coexist with other STIs like gonorrhea.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of sexually transmitted infections. They are crucial for diagnosing STIs, assessing overall sexual health, and guiding appropriate treatment and counseling to prevent further transmission. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s sexual history, symptoms, and risk factors.

Conditions where a Gonorrhea test is recommended:

The primary condition this test is designed to diagnose is:

  • Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

How does my health care provider use a Gonorrhea test?

Gonorrhea testing is used to detect, diagnose, and confirm that infections caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae have been successfully treated. In the United States, gonorrhea is a prevalent sexually transmitted disease that, if left untreated, can lead to serious problems. To avoid long-term problems and the spread of the disease to others, it's critical to screen for, diagnose, and treat gonorrhea.

Because the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea might be similar to those of chlamydia, a clear diagnosis is necessary because the two illnesses require separate antibiotic treatments. Because the two conditions have similar symptoms, healthcare providers frequently test for both Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacteria that causes chlamydia. Testing should be done again to determine that the treatment was effective. After a person has completed therapy, this is done roughly three months later.

What do my Gonorrhea test results mean?

A positive result indicates that you have an active gonorrhea infection that requires antibiotic therapy.

A negative result simply means that no infection was present at the time of the test. It is critical for persons who are at a higher risk of infection to have annual screening tests performed to check for infection.

If you are infected, your sexual partner(s) should get tested and treated as well.

Most Common Questions About the Gonorrhea test:

Purpose and Indications for the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA Test

What is the primary purpose of the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test?

The Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test is designed to detect the presence of RNA from the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria. This bacterium is responsible for causing gonorrhea, a common sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Why might a healthcare provider recommend the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test?

A healthcare provider might recommend this test if a patient exhibits symptoms consistent with gonorrhea or if they have been exposed to a sexual partner who has been diagnosed with gonorrhea. Early detection can aid in prompt treatment and prevent complications.

Interpreting the Results

What do the results of the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test indicate?

A positive result from the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test indicates that the patient has an active gonorrhea infection. A negative result suggests the absence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae RNA, although it doesn't necessarily rule out an infection, especially if the test was done very early after exposure or the sample was not properly collected.

Implications and Management

If a patient tests positive for Neisseria Gonorrhoeae using the RNA TMA test, what are the potential treatments?

If the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test is positive, the patient is typically prescribed antibiotics to treat the infection. It's crucial for the patient and their partners to complete the full course of treatment, abstain from sexual activities until the infection is cleared, and inform past partners so they can get tested and treated if necessary.

How often should one undergo the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test?

The frequency of testing depends on individual risk factors. Those with multiple sexual partners, new partners, or a partner with an STI, as well as those not consistently using condoms, may benefit from more frequent testing. Regular testing is also advisable for sexually active individuals in high-prevalence settings.

Test Mechanisms and Specifics

How does the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test differ from other gonorrhea tests?

The Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test detects the genetic material of the bacterium, while other tests might detect the bacterium itself or the antibodies produced in response to an infection. Because it targets RNA, the TMA test is highly sensitive and can often detect the infection earlier than other methods.

What are the advantages of using the Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test over traditional gonorrhea tests?

The Neisseria Gonorrhoeae RNA TMA test is known for its high sensitivity and specificity. It can detect infections even in individuals who might have low bacterial loads, making it advantageous in early or asymptomatic infections. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of false positives due to its precision.

Additional Information

Why is early detection of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae important?

Early detection and treatment of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae prevent complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and ectopic pregnancy in women, as well as complications in men like epididymitis. Furthermore, treating the infection reduces the spread of the disease in the community.

Are there strains of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae that are resistant to antibiotics, and can the RNA TMA test detect them?

Yes, there are antibiotic-resistant strains of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae. However, the RNA TMA test specifically detects the presence of the bacterium's RNA and does not provide information on antibiotic resistance. Separate tests or cultures are needed to determine resistance patterns.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Customer Reviews