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Scand J Infect Dis. 2001;33(1):56-9.

Acute cellulitis: an unusual manifestation of meningococcal disease.

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Service of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Laredo, Cantabria, Spain.


We describe 2 patients who both developed cellulitis due to Neisseria meningitidis and review 8 other cases reported since 1966. Female patients outnumbered male patients by 8 to 2, and there were 5 children and 5 adults. Four cases were caused by the serogroup C meningococcus, 2 cases by serogroup B and 2 others by serogroup Y (the nature of the meningococcal group was not available in 2 cases). Diverse medical underlying conditions were present in 4 of the adult patients. The periorbital region (in all 5 children), limb (in 3 adults), neck (in 1 adult) and face and neck (in 1 adult) were the locations of the meningococcal cellulitis. In all 10 patients, a favorable clinical response to the antibiotic therapy was documented and no relapses occurred. These cases indicate that N. meningitidis should be considered as a causative agent of cellulitis in the appropriate clinical setting, particularly in children with signs of periorbital infection or adults with underlying diseases.

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