The genus contains the important pathogens and . These Gram-negative coccoid bacteria are generally thought to be restricted to humans and inhabit mucosal surfaces in the upper respiratory and genito-urinary tracts. While the meningococcus and gonococcus have been widely studied, far less attention has been paid to other species. Here we review current knowledge of the distribution of commensal in humans and other hosts. Analysis of the microbiome has revealed that is an abundant member of the oropharyngeal flora, and we review its potential impact on health and disease. also exhibit remarkable diversity, exhibiting both coccoid and rod-shaped morphologies, as well as environmental strains which are capable of degrading complex organic molecules.


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