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November 1983

Fulminant Meningococcus Infections

Author Affiliations

2500 Steiner St San Francisco, CA 94115

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(11):1130. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140370086032

Sir.—In the therapy for meningococcus disease, antibiotics have replaced the use of the antitoxic serum developed by Hoyne1; this serum is no longer available.

In the discussion of the article by Hoyne, Bower quoted Silverthorne and Fraser as follows: "Blood of most adults is antibacterial (antitoxic?) to a high degree, whereas infants and young children have little or no bacteriocidal property in their blood."2

Onset signs of disseminated meningococcus disease consist of petechiae and more massive cutaneous hemorrhages caused by the exotoxins of the organism. Further production of these toxins will be prevented by antibiotics, but it is worth proposing that pooled adult plasma should invariably be given coincidentally with antibiotics. In the presence of these cutaneous evidences of intoxication, the plasma of adults may be expected to contribute high levels of the antitoxic components that are lacking in young infants and in many other instances at