I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000


Nester-Anderson-Roberts: I IV. Infectious Diseases I 26. Nervous System I I © The McGraw-Hill

Microbiology, A Human Infections Companies, 2003

Perspective, Fourth Edition

Table 26.1 Meningococcal Meningitis

26.2 Bacterial Nervous System Infections 669

© Neisseria meningitidis inhaled, infects upper airways.

@ Bacteria enter the bloodstream and are circulated throughout the body.

© The bacteria lodge in the skin and cause petechiae.

@ Bacteria on the meninges causes meningitis.

© Lysing bacteria in the circulation release endotoxin, producing shock.

© Inflammatory response in meninges can damage nerves of hearing causing deafness and obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid causing increased pressure inside the brain.

@ Bacteria exit with respiratory secretions.


Incubation period Causative agent



Prevention and treatment

Mild cold followed by headache, fever, pain, stiff neck and back, vomiting, petechiae 1 to 7 days

Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus; a Gram-negative diplococcus

Meningococci adhere by pili, colonize upper respiratory tract, enter bloodstream; carried to meninges and spinal fluid; inflammatory response obstructs normal outflow of fluid; increased pressure caused by obstructed flow impairs brain function; damage to motor nerves produces paralysis; endotoxin release causes shock Close contact with a case or carrier; inhalation of infectious droplets; crowding and fatigue predispose to the disease

Polysaccharide vaccine against types A, C, W135, and Y used to immunize high-risk populations; rifampin given to those exposed. Penicillin, ceftriaxone, for treatment

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