Gonococcal infection of the neonate may produce serious ocular or systemic disease. Rapid diagnosis is crucial for the appropriate institution of therapy. Although visualization of Gram-negative diplococci on Gram stain of conjunctival exudate strongly suggests the diagnosis, culture is essential for definitive diagnosis. The rapidity of isolation and identification of the gonococcal organism have been aided greatly by the recent introduction of commercial bacterial identification systems, such as the API, BACTEC, and Minitek kits. These rapid identification methods, however, may occasionally provide misleading information, as illustrated in the following case report.
The patient was a 3,450-g full-term boy delivered by cesarean section.