This paper is intended primarily to show the value of smears from purpuric lesions as an aid in the early diagnosis of meningococcus bacteremia.
Netter and Salanier1 demonstrated the presence of meningococci in purpuric lesions in 1916. Previously in 1915, meningococci were found in direct smears of the blood by Coles.2 Drigalski3 has been credited with the first identification of meningococci from herpetic lesions associated with meningococcal infection. The organisms were also demonstrated in sections made from the purpuric lesions by Benda.4 Several other investigators5 have confirmed these findings, that meningococci are present in the skin and in the cutaneous capillaries. Investigations to date leave no reasonable doubt that the purpuric lesions contain meningococci. The value of the stained smear from these lesions as a practical method for the consistent early bacteriologic diagnosis of this disease has not, we believe, been adequately appreciated and certainly