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Volume 42, Number 5, October 2009

 Invasive pediatric Neisseria meningitidis infections

Pao-Lan Tuan, Wen-Chen Li, Yhu-Chering Huang, Cheng-Hsun Chiu, Tzou-Yien Lin

Received: May 1, 2008    Revised: July 1, 2008    Accepted: August 5, 2008   


Corresponding author:

 Dr. Wen-Chen Li, Department of Pediatrics,

Chang Gung Children’s Hospital, No. 5, Fu-Shin St., Kweishan,

Taoyuan 333, Taiwan.




Background and purpose: 

Neisseria meningitidis usually causes severe infection in children, but occurs

only sporadically in Taiwan. However, the number of infections increased in 2001 and 2002. This study was

performed to ascertain the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of infections caused by meningococcus in

a pediatric population.




 The medical charts of patients with meningococcal diseases who were admitted to Chang Gung

Children’s Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan, from July 1998 to December 2005 were retrospectively reviewed.

Data were analyzed for age distribution, serogroups, clinical diagnoses, treatment, acute complications, and





 Sixteen children with meningococcal disease were identified. Their ages ranged from 1 month to

15 years (average, 3 years). Most patients (62.5%) were younger than 1 year and the second most frequent

age group was 6 to 15 years (18.75%). There were 56.25% boys and 43.75% girls. The identified serogroups

were B (43.75%), W135 (31.25%), A (6.25%), Y (6.25%), and undetermined (12.5%). The antibiotics used in

this study were ampicillin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, and aqueous penicillin; the mean total treatment duration

was 10 days. Purpura fulminans (37.5%), disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (31.25%), respiratory

failure (25.0%), and shock (25.0%) were the commonest acute complications. Most (87.5%) of the patients

survived. One patient had long-term sequelae of hearing impairment and speech delay. The mortality rate was





 Serogroup B and W-135 were 2 predominant serogroups to cause pediatric meningococcus, and

the majority of infections occurred in children younger than 1 year. Continuous surveillance and prevention of

meningococcal infections are of great importance.



Key words:

 Meningitis, meningococcal; Neisseria meningitidis