Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the most common sexually transmitted disease-causing bacterium worldwide. An in-house PCR assay targeting the carbamoyl-phosphate synthase subunit A (carA) gene was developed for the specific detection of N. gonorrhoeae in clinical specimens. Samples from 605 patients were cultured on selective medium and assayed by PCR in a double-blind fashion. Of 605 urethral/cervical samples analysed, 13 were PCR-positive, of which 11 were culture-positive. The PCR showed a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 99.7% with these samples. PCR targeting the carA gene appears to be a reliable method for the detection of N. gonorrhoeae in clinical specimens.