N. gonorrhoeae is a Gram-negative faculative bacterium.The bacterial cells measure ~0.6-1.0 µm diameter and arrange in pairs with adjacent sides flattened exhibiting "coffee bean" shapes "diplococci". There are other forms in laboratory cultures including monocells and tetrads. The organism requires carbon dioxide for growth, is oxidase producing, does not produce endospores, does not exhibit flagella for motility and has an optimal growth temperature of 35-37oC. This microbe is a highly variable pathogen. Its phenotypic and genotypic characteristics fluctuate over time from a local as well as global perspective. The bacterium has the ability to inexorably develop resistance to antibiotics mediated by various mechanisms, constraining the number of antibiotics that are clinically effective and relevant.The microbe can enter host cells, where they can survive and grow causing gonorrhoea.
Images: Gram staining of urethral (male) and cervical (female) discharge of gonorrhea patients (Courtesy by Weiming Gu, Shanghai Skin Disease and STD Hospital, China)