Meningococcemia is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Emergency Central is a collection of disease, drug, and test information including 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, Davis’s Drug, McGraw-Hill Medical’s Diagnosaurus®, Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, and MEDLINE Journals created for emergency medicine professionals. Explore these free sample topics:

Emergency Central

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --

Basics

Description

  • Bacterial illness caused by Neisseria meningitidis
  • Several forms of illness may occur
  • Mild meningococcemia
  • Overwhelming meningococcal sepsis
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Chronic/occult meningococcemia
  • Septic arthritis
  • Acquired from close contact with an infected individual or an asymptomatic carrier
  • Intimate kissing and cigarette smoking are independent risk factors.

Etiology

  • N. meningitidis:
    • Serotypes A, B, C, D, H, I, K, L, X, Y, Z, 29E, and W135
    • Serotype B is most common in US
    • Majority of infections caused by A, B, C, X, Y, and W135
  • Bacteria attach to and enter nasopharyngeal epithelial cells.
  • Bacteria spread from the nasopharynx through the bloodstream via entry of vascular endothelium.
  • Most circulating meningococci are eliminated by the spleen.
  • Meningococci produce an endotoxin (lipooligosaccharide):
    • Involved in pathogenesis of the skin, adrenal manifestations, and vascular collapse
  • Human oropharynx/nasopharynx is the only reservoir.
  • Carrier usually has developed immunity to serotype-specific antibody (not immune to all serotypes):
    • Age <5 yr: 1% carrier rate
    • Age 20–40 yr: 30–40% carrier rate
    • Lower rate of immunity in children, which is reflected by the higher rates of infection
  • Most common in fall and spring
  • Increased incidence in military recruits and close living conditions
  • Epidemics—ages 5–9 yr most/earliest affected

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --

Citation

* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Meningococcemia ID - 307025 Y1 - 2016 PB - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307025/all/Meningococcemia ER -