Jun 18th, 2015
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Alabama State University
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INTRODUCTIONMeningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The inflammation may be caused by infection with viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms, and less commonly by certain drugs. Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation's proximity to the brain and spinal cord; therefore the condition is classified as a medical emergency. Bacterial meningitis remains a serious threat to global health, accounting for an estimated annual 170 000 deaths worldwide.Three species,Haemophilus influenzae,Streptococcus pneumoniaeandNeisseria meningitidis, are responsible for most cases of bacterial meningitis occurring beyond the neonatal period. Since the introduction ofH. influenzaetype b (Hib) conjugate vaccines,N. meningitidisand S. pneumoniae have become the commonest causes of bacterial meningitis in the world. With the progressive implementation of the conjugated polysaccharide vaccines against pneumococcus, it is likely thatN. meningitidiswill remain a major agent of meningitis worldwide.Moreover,N meningitidisis the only bacteria able to generate epidemics of meningitis. Meningococcus serogroups that are responsible for severe meningitis belong to only 6 groups: Nm A, B, C, X, Y and W135.Group A meningococci are characterized by their propensity to cause large scale epidemics in developing countries, specifically in the countries of the African 'meningi

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