Definition of Meningococcal infection

Meningococcal infection: Infection with the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. (Neisseria was formerly called Meningococcus and the term "meningococcal" is still entrenched.)

Persons with a meningococcal infection may have any of several acute illnesses, including:

  • meningitis and sepsis (blood infection),
  • meningitis in the absence of sepsis,
  • sepsis in the absence of meningitis,
  • a predominantly cutaneous (skin) condition called purpura fulminans, or
  • some combination of these conditions.
Other illnesses that can occur from meningococcal infection in the absence of sepsis include pharyngitis (throat infection), conjunctivitis (eye infection), pneumonia, and arthritis.

See also: Meningococcal meningitis; Meningococcal vaccine; Meningococcemia; Meningococcus.


Last Editorial Review: 10/9/2012

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