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Meningococcal Disease (Neisseria meningitidis)
1990 Case Definition

Clinical Description

Meningococcal disease presents most commonly as meningitis and/or meningococcemia that may progress rapidly to purpura fulminans, shock, and death. However, other manifestations may be observed.

Laboratory Criteria for Diagnosis

Isolation of Neisseria meningitidis from a normally sterile site

Case Classification


A positive antigen test in cerebrospinal fluid or clinical purpura fulminans in the absence of a positive blood culture


A clinically compatible case that is culture confirmed


Antigen test results in urine or serum are unreliable for diagnosing meningococcal disease.