Chronic meningococcemia occurred in a 2-year-old boy. As in adults, the clinical constellation in childhood include a prolonged period of variable rash, fever, and arthritis accompanied by surprisingly little systemic toxicity. Because of its rarity and nonspecific symptomatology, this entity is frequently mistaken for a wide range of other infectious diseases, vasculitides, and collagenoses. Thus, the positive blood culture remains the diagnostic sine qua non. Although the pathophysiology of this peculiar host-bacterial interaction has not been elucidated, it may prove fruitful to consider the clinical features as results of immune-complex deposition rather than direct bacterial invasion.
Leibel RL, Fangman JJ, Ostrovsky MC. Chronic Meningococcemia in Childhood: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(1):94–98. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110200096014
Artificial Intelligence Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.