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a microorganism of the species Neisseria meningitidis, the cause of some types of meningitis. adj., adj meningococ´cal.
a bacterial species found in the nasopharynx of humans but not in other animals; the causative agent of meningococcal meningitis and meningicoccemia; virulent organisms are strongly gram negative and occur singly or in pairs; in the latter case the cocci are elongated and are arranged with long axes parallel and facing sides kidney shaped; groups characterized by serologically specific capsular polysaccharides are designated by capital letters (the main serogroups being A, B, C, and D).
meningococcus/me·nin·go·coc·cus/ (mĕ-ning″go-kok´us) pl. meningococ´ci an individual organism of Neisseria meningitidis. meningococ´calmeningococ´cic
n. pl. meningo·cocci (-kŏk′sī, -kī)
A bacterium (Neisseria meningitidis) that causes cerebrospinal meningitis.
me·nin′go·coc′cal (-kŏk′əl), me·nin′go·coc′cic (-kŏk′sĭk) adj.
[mining′gōkok′əs] pl. meningococci [-kok'sī]
Etymology: Gk, meninx + kokkos, berry
a bacterium of the genus Neisseria meningitidis, a nonmotile gram-negative diplococcus, frequently found in the nasopharynx of asymptomatic carriers, that may cause septicemia or epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis. Meningococcal infections are not highly communicable. However, crowded conditions, such as may be found in army camps and college dormitories, concentrate the number of carriers and reduce individual resistance to the organism. Hemorrhagic skin lesions are significant clues to the diagnosis. Stained smears of these lesions or of cerebrospinal fluid must be examined quickly because meningococci are fragile and lyse readily. Early treatment with an appropriate antibiotic such as penicillin G is essential for cure. Contacts may receive prophylaxis with rifampin. Several meningococcal vaccines are available. See also meningitis. meningococcal, adj.
Neis·se·ri·a me·nin·gi·ti·dis(nī-sēr'ē-ă men-in-jit'i-dis)
A species found in the nasopharynx; the causative agent of meningococcal meningitis. Virulent organisms are strongly gram-negative and occur singly or in pairs; in the latter case the cocci are elongated and are arranged with long axes parallel and facing sides kidney shaped. Groups characterized by serologically specific capsular polysaccharides are designated by capital letters (the main serogroups being A, B, C, and D).