Encapsulated gram negative diplococci
Normal flora - humans are the reservoir
Multiple conjugated vaccines available: monovalent Men-C-C and quadrivalent Men-C-A/C/Y/W-135
Multicomponent 4CMenB (Bexsero) available though not routinely used.
Occurs in outbreaks particularly in crowded setting
Colonizer and cause of invasive disease: meningitis, meningococcemia, and rarely pneumonia, septic arthritis, pericarditis, conjunctivitis, and others.
Generally of little significance when cultured from non-sterile sites i.e. genital, pharynx.
PCR testing available.