Back to Bacteria Index

Neisseria Meningitides


Gram negative cocci arranged in pairs with the adjacent sides flattened (kidney shaped).

Cultural characteristics

They require blood for growth as in chocolate agar or Thayer-Martin medium.


Capsular polysaccharides

They have the following properties

  • Antiphagocytic properties
  • Defines serologic groups
  • Detected in cerebrospinal fluid
  • Induces protective immunity when used in the vaccine.

The most important groups associated with disease in man are A, B, C, Y, W-135.


Are important virulence in that they mediate attachment to mucosal cells and are antiphagocytic.


They are responsible for the endotoxic effects occurring in meningococcal infections.


May help in the attachment to host cells.

Ig A protease

Hydrolyzes secretary IgA which could otherwise block their attachment to the mucosa.

Diseases caused meningococcus

previous.gif (72x17 -- 347 bytes) next.gif (72x17 -- 277 bytes)

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us