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August 2, 1965

Neisseria catarrhalis Bacteremia With Meningitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics (Drs. Pfister, Gallagher, and Potterfield), and the Department of Bacteriology (Mr. Brown), Charleston Memorial Hospital, WVa.

JAMA. 1965;193(5):399-401. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090050075029

NEISSERIA GONORRHOEAE and N meningitidis have a well-established pattern of pathogenicity in man. Aerobic nonpathogenic neisseriae, on the other hand, are found normally in the nasopharynx and in the upper respiratory tract. The following report describes a case in which, despite a clinical picture of meningococcemia, a culture of N catarrhalis was developed from blood, spinal-fluid, and throat specimens.

Report of a Case  A 2 1/2-year-old boy was brought to the hospital 18 hours after he developed lethargy, fever, and anorexia, and four hours after petechiae were first noticed on his arms. The physician who saw him did not institute therapy but referred him for immediate admission.The patient's history included persistent rhinorrhea and sore throat during the previous winter. He had also experienced frequent earaches, but not within the six months previous to admission.The patient weighed 28.6 lb (13 kg). He was comatose and had a rectal temperature