Volume 23, Number 7—July 2017
Etymologia: Meningococcal Disease
From the Greek meninx (“membrane”) + kokkos (“berry”), meningococcal disease was first described by Vieusseux during an outbreak in Geneva in 1805. In 1884, Italian pathologists Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli described intracellular micrococci in cerebrospinal fluid, and in 1887, Anton Wiechselbaum identified the meningococcus (designated as Diplococcus intracellularis meningitidis) in cerebrospinal fluid and established the connection between the organism and epidemic meningitis. Meningococcus can cause endemic cases, clusters, and epidemics of meningitis and septicemia (Figure).
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- Stephens DS. Biology and pathogenesis of the evolutionarily successful, obligate human bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. Vaccine. 2009;27(Suppl 2):B71–7. DOIPubMed
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