Neisseria gonorrhoeae has a rising trend of resistance against antimicrobials. Today, third generation cephalosporins are the only antibiotics for treatment of gonorrhea against which there is no resistance in gonococci. On the other hand, decreased susceptibility against this group, including ceftriaxone, has already been observed. This historically famous pathogen deserves current attention and is reviewed here with respect to its resistance mechanisms and patterns, and the problems concerning standardization of its susceptibility testing are discussed. (C) 1999 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.