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March 1961

Epidemic Meningitis of the Newborn Caused by Flavobacteria: II. Clinical Manifestations and Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, and The Children's Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(3):296-304. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020040024005

Human disease due to Flavobacteria has been described by Vandepitte and co-workers (4 patients)1 and by Brody, Moore, and King (19 patients, 2 epidemics),2 who reported some of the clinical features in neonates of epidemic meningitis caused by these organisms. The preceding article in this issue by Cabrera and Davis describes the recognition, spread, and successful termination of a similar epidemic of meningitis and sepsis due to the same bacteria.

The infected babies of this outbreak provided data for an informative study of infection by a bacterium, Flavobacterium meningosepticum, Group C, which is not a part of the normal flora of either the human mother or her newborn babe. The organisms were resistant to the common antibiotics, and, once they had invaded the infants, produced a necrotizing meningitis, leading in some cases to hydrocephalus. A sufficient number of babies was affected to indicate the breadth of the spectrum

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