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Clin Microbiol Rev. 1988 Oct;1(4):415-31.

Historical perspectives and identification of Neisseria and related species.

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  • 1Sexually Transmitted Diseases Laboratory Program, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.


The pathogenic Neisseria spp., N. gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis, have been studied extensively and rapid identification procedures have been designed to distinguish these species from the commensal Neisseria and related species that are normal flora of the oro- and nasopharynx. The commensal Neisseria spp. have been largely ignored except for isolated studies. It is important that we know about these species, however, because not only may some be misidentified as pathogenic species if identified with inappropriate procedures, but also they may occasionally be isolated from unusual sites and must be correctly identified to the species level for clinical purposes.

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