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The clinical spectrum of invasive meningococcal disease is diverse with meningitis and/or septicaemia being the commonest modes of presentation. The severity of manifestations of meningococcal infection ranges from bacteraemia, associated with mild non-specific symptoms, to fulminant sepsis with multiorgan failure and death in approximately 10-15% of cases. Localised infections (such as conjunctivitis or septic arthritis) as well as chronic disease may be the sole clinical manifestations but can also lead to disseminated fulminant disease. Among survivors, disabling long-term sequelae can complicate meningococcal disease and result in potentially devastating effects on the quality of life of survivors, most of whom are infants, children and adolescents. The only rational approach to the prevention of meningococcal disease and the associated human suffering is through vaccination.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date



30 Suppl 2


B3 - B9


Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Conjunctivitis, Humans, Infant, Meningitis, Bacterial, Meningococcal Infections, Meningococcal Vaccines, Mental Disorders, Multiple Organ Failure, Sepsis