Meningococcus Meningitis

Infection with gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis has a virulent and fulminant variant with a high mortality (Fig. 6.2). The disease occurs sporadically or in epidemics. The primary infection, a nasopharyngitis, spreads to the brain via the bloodstream. The meningitis is associated with the Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome, which is characterized by petechiae and ecchymotic pur-puric lesions in the skin and hemorrhages in the visceral organs, chiefly the adrenals. Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy often complicates the clinical picture.

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