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Pathophysiology of meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia
  1. N Pathan,
  2. S N Faust,
  3. M Levin
  1. Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Prof. M Levin, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK;


Neisseria meningitidis is remarkable for the diversity of interactions that the bacterium has with the human host, ranging from asymptomatic nasopharyngeal colonisation affecting virtually all members of the population; through focal infections of the meninges, joints, or eye; to the devastating and often fatal syndrome of meningococcal septic shock and purpura fulminans.

  • meningitis
  • meningococcaemia
  • septic shock
  • CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
  • IL, interleukin
  • NCAM, neural cell adhesion molecule
  • PAI, plasminogen activator inhibitor
  • TFPI, tissue factor pathway inhibitor
  • TNF, tumour necrosis factor

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