At least three conditions are required to cause an invasive disease. These conditions are (i) exposure to a pathogenic strain, (ii) acquisition of pathogenic strain (i.e, its colonization on the naso-oropharyngeal mucosa) and (iii) invasion of bacteria. Invasion can be subdivided into mucosal penetration followed by invasion of blood stream and finally, invasion of meninges.
Many outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis have been documented during 1966 and 1985. During 1966, 616 cases of meningitis were reported with case-fatality rate of 20.9%. The highest proportion of cases and deaths occurred in age group less than one year followed by that in 1-4 years.
The incubation period of meningococcal disease is 3 to 4 days, with a range of 2 to 10 days. Meningococcal bacteria can make a person extremely ill by infecting the blood (septicemia) or by infecting the fluid of the spinal cord and around the brain (meningitis). Because this disease progresses quickly, it is important to be diagnosed and start treatment as soon as possible.
Major research on disease:
Massive Organ Inflammation in Experimental and in Clinical Meningococcal Septic Shock.These processes are influenced by bacterial properties, environmental and social conditions, preceding or concomitant viral infections and the immune status of the patient.