Show Summary Details
Page of

Meningococcal infections 

Meningococcal infections
Meningococcal infections

Petter Brandtzaeg

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 05 March 2021

Neisseria meningitidis is an obligate human Gram-negative diplococcus. It is carried in the nasopharynx by about 3–10% of people, with most strains being harmless and inducing immunity. Pathogenic strains usually belong to specific clones that are encapsulated, express pili, and the major porin, PorA. Serogroups A, B, and C usually account for more than 90% of all invasive isolates. Meningitis is the commonest presentation; preceded by low-grade meningococcaemia. After transition to the subarachnoid space the meningococci proliferate to high levels in the cerebrospinal fluid. Clinically the patients develop fever, subsequently a petechial rash and increasing symptoms of meningitis. If adequately treated with antibiotics, case fatality is less than 1–2% in industrialized countries, but higher in developing countries. Brain oedema leading to herniation of the cerebellum is the main cause of death. Neurosensory hearing loss is the major complication.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.