[Skip to Navigation]
March 1961

Epidemic Meningitis of the Newborn Caused by Flavobacteria: I. Epidemiology and Bacteriology

Author Affiliations


Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(3):289-295. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020040017004

Neonatal meningitis does not occur commonly and when it does, is more often than not caused by coliform organisms, rather than by nonfermenting gram-negative bacilli. It is also a fact that in many laboratories, when a blood culture or spinal fluid yields biochemically inert organisms resembling Alcaligenes or nonpigmented Pseudomonas, these cultures are unceremoniously discarded. This is especially true if the culture has come from an infant where the difficulty in obtaining these specimens increases the opportunities for contamination. In 1958 Brody et al.1 reported 2 outbreaks of meningitis in premature nurseries caused by a nonfermenting gram-negative bacillus for which the name "Flavobacterium meningosepticum" was suggested by King.2

As a result of the well-publicized nursery outbreaks of Staphylococcus aureus3-5 our hospital has for the last 2 years cultured the nose and throat of each baby on the day of discharge and of the nursery personnel twice monthly.

Add or change institution