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Vaccine. 2009 Jun 24;27 Suppl 2:B71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.04.070. Epub 2009 May 23.

Biology and pathogenesis of the evolutionarily successful, obligate human bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.

Author information

1
Emory University, Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, 1440 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. dstep01@emory.edu

Abstract

For at least two hundred years, Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus), the cause of epidemic meningitis and sepsis, has inflicted rapid death, disability and fear on disparate human populations. The meningococcus is also recognized as a highly successful commensal organism exclusively found in humans. The evolution of N. meningitidis as an exclusive human commensal and sometimes a fulminant and fatal pathogen represents an important case study in microbial pathogenesis. We review the general status of our knowledge of pathogenesis of meningococcal carriage, transmission and virulence behavior with particular emphasis on the relevance of research on this topic to vaccine development.

PMID:
19477055
PMCID:
PMC2712446
DOI:
10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.04.070
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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