Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus, is a germ (bacterium). Infection with meningococcus is uncommon but is very serious. It can cause meningitis and/or septicaemia. If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia - get medical help immediately.Meningococcal meningitis is a rare but serious infection.
Neisseria meningitidis bacteria are spread from person to person by inhaling airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes or just by close contact. In many cases, the bacteria is spread by infected individuals that are carriers of Neisseria meningitidis, but do not show any symptoms. Neisseria meningitidis is present in the nose and throat of these individuals.
Even with proper treatment, 10% to 15% of people with meningococcal disease die. Of the people who survive, as many as 20% suffer from some serious complication, such as loss of an arm or leg, brain damage, or permanent hearing loss. Meningitis can cause shock, coma, and death within hours of the first symptom.
Direct tests of detection of meningococcal capsular polysaccharide in CSF, serum or urine can also be done using commercially available kits based on antibody coated latex agglutination to detect capsular antigen of meningococcal serogroups A, B, C, Y and W-135. If immediate testing is not possible, the sample can be refrigerated (between 2 osub C and 8 osub C) up to several hours.
Major research on disease:
Molecular shape and immunogenicity of meningococcal polysaccharide group A conjugate vaccine.This method is rapid, specific and can provide a serogroup-specific diagnosis, but false negative results are common, especially in cases of serogroup B disease. Antigen tests of urine or serum are less reliable for the diagnosis of meningococcal disease.