PYOGENIC meningitis in infancy and early childhood generally falls into one of the following groups1: (1) meningococcic, (2) influenzal, (3) pneumococcic, (4) staphylococcic, (5) coliform or (6) streptococcic. However, occasionally cases are encountered in which an organism of low pathogenicity, such as the Micrococcus tetragenus2 or the Diplococcus mucosus,3 is the etiologic agent. Because of its morphologic and staining characteristics, the D. mucosus may readily be confused with the meningococcus. It is the purpose of this paper to present a case in which this organism, when observed on direct smears from the spinal fluid as a gram-negative intracellular and extracellular diplococcus, was erroneously interpreted as a meningococcus. The distinguishing bacteriologic characteristics of the D. mucosus are discussed. The chemotherapeutic measures and antibiotic substances employed in this case are also discussed.
REPORT OF A CASE