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Chronic meningococcemia: a rare presentation of meningococcal disease: case report

Antonio Adolfo Guerra Soares Brandão; Aleksander Snioka Prokopowitsch; Fernando Peixoto Ferraz de Campos; Liz Andrea Kawabata Yoshihara

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Chronic meningococcemia is a rare clinical presentation within the spectrum of infections due to Neisseria meningitidis, which was first described in 1902. It is defined as a chronic and benign meningococcal bacteremia without meningeal signs or symptoms with at least one week’s duration, characterized by intermittent or continuous fever, polymorphic cutaneous rash, and migratory arthropathy. The incidence is believed to be around 1:200,000 inhabitants. It affects predominantly young people and adults, and it is equally distributed between genders. Diagnosis may be challenging in the early stages of the disease because of the difficulty in isolating Neisseria meningitidis (it reaches 74% of positivity in advanced stages). Recently, the use of PCR for detecting Neisseria sp antigen in skin biopsies specimens has been considered for those culture-negative cases. The authors report a case of a 54-year-old female patient who sought medical attention for a five-day fever followed by arthralgia and skin lesions predominantly in the lower limbs. The patient progressed to a toxemic clinical status that improved after the administration of antibiotic therapy, which consisted of oxacillin and ceftriaxone. The diagnosis of chronic meningococcemia was performed after the isolation of Neisseria meningitidis in two different blood sample cultures. This is, to our knowledge, the first case of chronic meningococcemia described in Brazil (up to the writing of this report).


Meningococcal infections, Arthritis, Immune complex diseases, Purpura, Fever.


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5696969764cc8b5cda711b8f autopsy Articles
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