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SUPPURA TION. 201
All authorities now accept the "gonococcus" to be
the cause of gonorrhea. It was first observed in the
urethral and conjunctival secretions of gonorrhea and
purulent ophthalmia by Neisser in 1879. The organisms
are of hemispherical shape, arranged in pairs, so that
the inner surfaces are separated from each other by a
narrow interval. Sometimes, instead of pairs of cocci,
fours are seen, the group no doubt resulting from the
division of a pair.
Fit;. 58.—-Gonococcns in urethral pus; x 1000 (Frankcl and Pfeiffer).
The described hemispherical shape is not exactly cor-
rect, for a good lens generally shows the approximated
surfaces to be somewhat concave rather than flat. The
Germans see in the organism a resemblance to their pop-
ular biscuit called a "semmel."
The gonococcus is small, is not motile, like other cocci,
is not provided with flagella, and does not have spores.
It stains readily with all the aqueous anilin dyes—best
with rather weak solutions—but not by Gram's method.
It can be found in the urethral discharges of gonorrhea
from the beginning until the end of the disease, though
in the later days its numbers may be outweighed by other