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Neisseria meningitidis

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Neisseria meningitidis 

  • Unique Characteristics
    • See Neisseria Overview for characteristics to all Neisseria spp.
    • Polysaccharide capsule 
      • Increased risk in asplenic patients, since spleen works to remove encapsulated organisms
      • Contrast vs. N gonorrhoeae - no capsule
    • Maltose acid detection 
      • Contrast vs. N gonorrhoeae - no maltose acid detection 
  • Transmitted via respiratory droplets/direct contact
    • Common in college students and military, between people in close proximity
  • Presentation
    • Meningitis
    • Adrenal hemorrhage (Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome)
      • Seen in disseminated infection (septicemia)
      • Presents with adrenal insufficiency, fever, DIC (bleeding), shock
    • Fever, chills
  • Vaccine
    • Available for at-risk individuals
    • Does not cover all serogroups (e.g. Group B)
    • Contrast vs. N gonorrhoeae - no vaccine 
  • Treatment
    • Penicillin G
      • First-line agent for treatment of active infection (without meningitis)
      • Not useful for prophylaxis (use rifampin)
    • Ceftriaxone
      • First-line for bacterial meningitis
    • Rifampin for prevention in close contacts