Meningococcal conjunctivitis is observed frequently in children. It is a type of bacterial infection causing milder form of conjunctivitis.
Purulent discharge is the prominent symptom of meningococcal conjunctivitis. Fever may occur in case of systemic meningococcal conjunctivitis. Perforation of cornea and ulcers in cornea are symptoms of secondary meningococcal conjunctivitis. The disease starts unilaterally but may affect speedily in the second eye.
Diagnosis is essential due to occurrence of rapid systemic complications further. The diagnosis is done using gram staining method and isolation of the bacteria using chocolate agar medium in the culture.
The recommended treatment is systematic administration of antibiotic. Penicillin G is often given intravenously to the patients with meningococcal conjunctivitis. The patients undergoing tropical therapy are noted to develop systematic complications. The administration of tropical and systematic antibiotics is the immediate treatment to be started after laboratory diagnosis. The saline water can be used to wash the eyes frequently to accelerate the action of antibiotics. The treatment must include chemoprophylaxis to contacts. The antibiotic rifampin can be given to people who have close contacts of the patient.
Benzylpenicillin 30mg (50000U/kg) can be given intravenously within four hours interval for five days.
Ceftriaxone 100mg/kg IV can be given daily for five days to patients who are allergic to penicillin.
Meningococcal conjunctivitis is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis. Neisseria meningitidis is gram negative diplococci. The mode of infection is through the respiratory tract and it further spreads within blood stream. The corneal infection is seen within the epithelium but the bacteria can also be invasive and invade inside the epithelium. It can cause severe ocular and systemic complications and hence must be treated promptly. Corneal ulceration was observed as the most frequent type of ocular complications. Meningococcal conjunctivitis can cause keratitis if immediate treatment is not taken or bacterial infection is very severe.
The meningococcal conjunctivitis can also be associated with other diseases like meningococcemia, meningitis and also sometimes endogenous endopthalmitis. It is been reported to cause systemic meningococcal infection.
The meningococcal conjunctivitis is considered to be a type of Hyperacute bacterial conjunctivitis caused by the bacterial infection. There are two types of meningococcal conjunctivitis. They are primary meningococcal conjunctivitis and secondary meningococcal conjunctivitis.
It can exist as invasive or noninvasive form. Primary meningococcal conjunctivitis may further involve complications as corneal ulceration, iritis, sub-conjunctival hemorrhage and keratitis. Primary meningococcal conjunctivitis is observed in neonates, children and adults.
It usually occurs after the systemic complications are associated in meningococcal conjunctival infection. The secondary meningococcal conjunctivitis can develop cataracts along with fever and rash.