Correct Answer for : USMLE step 2 Mcq 9:Neisseria meningitides is a gram negative organism which causes meningitis in young adults


Correct Answer: C


Neisseria meningitides or Meningococci are strict human parasites which often cause meningitis in young adults. The bacteria gain entry into the human body through the nasopharynx where they cause a mild infection with rhinitis and pharyngitis. Here the organisms multiply and then gain access to the meninges. The organism enters the meninges along the perineural sheath of the olfactory nerve, through the cribriform plate of the ethmoid.Spread through the blood is very unlikely because the Meningococci do not cause a septicemia following the nasal infection which is essential in case the organism enters the meninges through the blood. Meninges and nasopharynx do not share their lymphatic drainage so entry through lymphatics is not possible.Meningococci do not infect the peripheral nervous system so entry through the spinal cord is not possible.


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