An Overview of Neisseria meningitidis

  • Sarah HollingsheadEmail author
  • Christoph M. Tang
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1969)


Neisseria meningitidis (the meningococcus) is a member of the normal nasopharyngeal microbiome in healthy individuals, but can cause septicemia and meningitis in susceptible individuals. In this chapter we provide an overview of the disease caused by N. meningitidis and the schemes used to type the meningococcus. We also review the adhesions, virulence factors, and phase variable genes that enable it to successfully colonize the human host. Finally, we outline the history and current status of meningococcal vaccines and highlight the importance of continued molecular investigation of the epidemiology and the structural analysis of the antigens of this pathogen to aid future vaccine development.

Key words

Meningococcus Typing Adhesion Phase variation Vaccines 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sir William Dunn School of PathologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

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