Document Detail

Clinical spectrum of meningococcal infection in infants younger than six months of age.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16642734     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Neisseria meningitidis is one of the most significant bacterial infections in children and adolescents. As transplacental antibodies in the circulation gradually decline, the prevalence of meningococcal disease among young infants is high, and often presents an invasive clinical manifestation. The purpose of the study was to investigate the clinical spectrum of meningococcal infection in young infants. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed of the medical charts and analyzed the clinical characteristics and outcomes of 10 infants younger than 6 months old with meningococcal disease at the Chang Gung Children's Hospital from 1994 through 2004. RESULTS: A total of 10 male infants with a mean onset age of 2.9 +/- 1.79 months old were enrolled. All patients presented initial symptoms of fever and decreased activity. Seizure attack was noted in six cases, and only three patients had purpuric or petechial rash. Laboratory findings reflected pyogenic infection including elevated C-reactive protein (159.1 +/- 108.8 mg/L), pleocytosis (791.11 +/- 660.83/microL), high protein levels (190.43 +/- 157.91 g/dl) and hypoglycorrhachia (28 +/- 20.89 mg/dl) in the cerebrospinal fluid. Seven cases presented meningitis; among those, N. meningitidis was isolated from blood in two cases. Three of the remaining patients had meningococcemia. Penicillin was the most common drug of choice; cephalosporin was the alternative. Prolonged antimicrobial therapy (range, 14 to 42 days) was prescribed in six patients complicated with subdural empyema. No deaths were documented. During long-term follow up, two patients developed mental retardation, and one of those two also had epilepsy. Both of them had lower birth body weight, altered initial conscious level, leukocytopenia and subdural empyema with encephalomalacia on brain images. One had insufficient therapy and another one was infected by a penicillin resistant strain. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should be aware of meningococcal infection in young infants because the initial presentations may be difficult to distinguish from viral syndrome, and may rapidly progress to clinical deterioration. Patients with subdural empyema required prolonged courses of antimicrobial therapy. Brain images confirmed the presence of encephalomalacia which increased the risk of permanent neurologic deficit.
Hsuan-Rong Huang; Hui-Ling Chen; Shih-Ming Chu
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Chang Gung medical journal     Volume:  29     ISSN:  2072-0939     ISO Abbreviation:  Chang Gung Med J     Publication Date:    2006 Jan-Feb
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-28     Completed Date:  2006-05-25     Revised Date:  2008-12-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101088034     Medline TA:  Chang Gung Med J     Country:  China (Republic : 1949- )    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  107-13     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Taipei, ROC.
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MeSH Terms
Follow-Up Studies
Infant, Newborn
Meningococcal Infections / diagnosis*,  drug therapy,  microbiology
Neisseria meningitidis / isolation & purification
Retrospective Studies

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