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- Aerobic, Gram-negative diplococcus.
- Member of Neisseriaceae family, organism has catalase and oxidase activity.
- Grows in blood or chocolate agar or selective media, e.g., Thayer Martin, Martin-Lewis or NY City culture media.
- Capsule presents 13 different serogroups: most important are A, B, C, 29E, H, I, J, K, L, W135, X, Y, Z, and non-typable (non-encapsulated) serogroups A, B, C, W, and Y are most common.