Primary Neisseria meningitidis Conjunctivitis In a 14-month-old Child


MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.49, no.3, pp.467-472, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.9362
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.467-472
  • Keywords: Conjunctivitis, Neisseria meningitidis, PRIMARY MENINGOCOCCAL CONJUNCTIVITIS, IDENTIFICATION
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Meningococcal conjunctivitis is a rare but important infection since it can lead to severe complications and can threaten public health. It may emerge in two forms, either primary or secondary type which is developed after a systemic infection. Accurate diagnosis of primary meningococcal conjunctivitis is very important in addition to ocular complications which can result in loss of vision, the condition can also lead to severe complications like systemic meningococcal disease. However, the lack of specific symptoms which can distinguish meningococcal conjunctivitis from other forms of bacterial conjunctivitis, initiation of empiric antibiotic therapy without performing culture and nonaccurate differentiation of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis with commercial kits/systems used in laboratories cause problematic situations. This report describes a case of primary unilateral conjunctivitis in a 14-month-old girl caused by non-groupable N.meningitidis that was resolved without sequelae following treatment. A pre-healthy 14-month-old girl was brought to the pediatric emergency department with redness, crusts and discharge in the left eye that had begun two days earlier. Ocular examination revealed hyperemia and purulent discharge in the left conjunctiva. Purulent conjunctivitis was diagnosed. A conjunctival swab specimen was taken for culture, and the patient was started on topical netilmicin (4x1), topical fusidic acid (2x1) and artificial tears. Microscopic examination of the conjunctival swab revealed polymorphonuclear leukocytes and no visible bacteria. Catalase and oxidase positive, gram-negative diplococci grew purely in culture. The first Gram stain preparation was evaluated again after the growth and small numbers of gram-negative diplococci were observed. The cultivated bacteria were identified as N.meningitidis using MALDI-TOF MS (Bruker Daltonics, Germany), but as N.gonorrhoeae with BBL Crystal N/H (Neisseria/Haemophilus) (BD Diagnostic Systems, MD) identification system. The isolate was identified as N.meningitidis by polymerase chain reaction method. The isolate was sent to the Public Health Institution of Turkey for confirmation and serotyping. It was confirmed as non-groupable N.meningitidis. This is the first report of conjunctivitis caused by non-groupable N.meningitidis from Turkey. We wish to emphasize the importance of Gram staining and differentiation of the species by automatized systems in diagnosis, netilmicin may be one of the options for empiric treatment and in terms of public health the most appropriate approach may be evaluation of the severity of conjunctivitis and causative serogroup which depends on case-based approach