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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2002 Oct;4(5):377-386.

Pathogenesis, Therapy, and Prevention of Meningococcal Sepsis.

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Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, H-153 Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus), an exclusive pathogen of humans, is the cause of sepsis (meningococcemia) and meningitis, often in otherwise healthy individuals. Several hundred thousand cases of meningococcal disease occur worldwide each year, a number that is frequently accentuated by epidemic outbreaks. In recent years, significant advances, fueled by new molecular approaches and genome sequencing projects, have improved our understanding of the pathogenesis of meningococcal disease and have led to progress in the development of the next generation of meningococcal vaccines. However, the mortality of meningococcal disease remains 10% to 15% for all cases, and is up to 40% in patients with severe sepsis. This review summarizes current knowledge of the pathogenesis, therapy, and prevention of meningococcal disease with emphasis on meningococcal sepsis.


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