Combining cervical and rectal cultures for gonorrhea on a single modified Thayer-Martin plate

Health Lab Sci. 1976 Jul;13(3):190-3.


Cultures of the cervix and rectum are recommended for the routine diagnosis of gonorrhea in women. Specimens are usually inoculated on separate plates of selective medium. The present study compares to the recovery rates of N. gonorrhoeae for cervical and rectal specimens plated separately to specimens combined on a single plate of modified Thayer-Martin medium (MTM). No statistically significant difference was detected between the two methods. It is concluded that the practice of combining cervical and rectal specimens on a single MTM plate provides the sensitivity of separately plated specimens at half the cost. Combining specimens could provide a significant cost benefit to gonorrhea control programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriological Techniques*
  • Cervix Uteri / microbiology*
  • Culture Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gonorrhea / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / isolation & purification*
  • Rectum / microbiology*


  • Culture Media