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Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. We describe an exceptional case of an immunocompetent 15-month-old child presenting with a unilateral anterior uveitis, hypopyon, and sepsis. Anterior chamber aspirate demonstrated gram-negative cocci before Neisseria meningitidis was identified in blood and cerebrospinal fluid. Meningococcal endophthalmitis presents variably with sepsis, meningitis, or isolated ocular symptoms. Diagnosis is a clinical challenge, requiring diagnostic sampling and treatment from both pediatricians and ophthalmologists. Delayed or incorrect treatment risks blindness, disability, or death. Simultaneous invasion of meningococcus across intact blood-brain and blood-ocular barriers in this child suggests antigenic correlates between meningeal and ocular endothelial interfaces. Meningococcus is an exclusively human pathogen; research is hampered by the lack of animal models. This clinical observation suggests the potential of a novel in vitro experimental approach of using ocular tissue from eye banks to further elucidate the meningococcal-endothelial interaction that underpins meningococcal disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.3109/09273948.2013.854392

Type

Journal article

Journal

Ocul Immunol Inflamm

Publication Date

10/2014

Volume

22

Pages

398 - 402

Keywords

Blood-brain barrier, blood-ocular barrier, endogenous endophthalmitis, endothelium, hypopyon, meningcoccal sepsis, meningitis, meningococcus, Anterior Chamber, Cerebrospinal Fluid, DNA, Bacterial, Diagnosis, Differential, Endophthalmitis, Eye Infections, Bacterial, Humans, Immunocompromised Host, Infant, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Meningococcal Infections, Neisseria meningitidis, Polymerase Chain Reaction