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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Systemic Gonorrhea

  • Rare; only 0.5-3% of patients with gonorrhea develop disseminated disease
  • More often in asymptomatic cases of mucosal gonorrhea
  • 3 times as many women as men, usually under 40 years of age
  • Causes the most common form of infectious arthritis
    • Usually involves the knees
    • Asymmetric
    • Fever, chills, rash present
  • People with complement deficiencies are more likely to develop it
  • Lack of some outer membrane proteins or presences of pili on the gonococcus
PHIL/CDC: Enlarged knee and lesions typical of systemic gonorrhea