A type of bacteria now formally known as Neisseria meningitidis, which is responsible for a number of meningococcal diseases including epidemic bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. In technical terms, the meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis) is a gram-negative nonmotile pyogenic coccus. The staining characteristics of bacteria provide an important classification system for the identification of bacteria. Bacteria are considered to be gram-negative if they have a red color by Gram's method of staining. (This is a primary characteristic of bacteria that have a cell wall composed of a thin layer of peptidoglycan covered by an outer membrane of lipoprotein and lipopolysaccharide containing endotoxin.) The term "nonmotile" means they do not move on their own. "Pyogenic" means they cause pus to form. And a "coccus" is a bacterium with a rounded or spherical shape, as opposed to one that is rod-shaped.
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SYN: Neisseria meningitidis. [meningo- + G. kokkos, berry]

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me·nin·go·coc·cus mə-.niŋ-gə-'käk-əs, -.nin-jə- n, pl -coc·ci -'käk-.(s)ī, -(.)(s a bacterium of the genus Neisseria (N. meningitidis) that causes cerebrospinal meningitis
me·nin·go·coc·cal -'käk-əl also me·nin·go·coc·cic -'käk-(s)ik adj

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n. (pl. meningococci)
the bacterium Neisseria, which can cause a serious form of septicaemia and is a common cause of meningitis.
meningococcal adj.

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me·nin·go·coc·cus (mə-ning″go-kokґəs) pl. meningococґci [meningo- + coccus] an individual organism of the species Neisseria meningitidis.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • meningococcus — [mə niŋ΄gō käk′əs] n. pl. meningococci [mə niŋ΄gōkäk′sī΄] the bacterium (Neisseria meningitidis) that is a common cause of meningitis meningococcal [mə niŋ΄gōkäk′əl] adj. meningococcic [mə niŋ΄gōkäk′sik] …   English World dictionary

  • Meningococcus — Neisseria meningitidis Neisseria meningitidis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • meningococcus — noun (plural meningococci) Etymology: New Latin Date: circa 1893 the bacterium (Neisseria meningitidis) that causes cerebrospinal meningitis • meningococcal also meningococcic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • meningococcus — Neisseria meningitidis; Gram negative non motile pyogenic coccus that is responsible for epidemic bacterial meningitis …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • meningococcus — meningococcal, meningococcic /meuh ning goh kok ik, kok sik/, adj. /meuh ning goh kok euhs/, n., pl. meningococci / kok suy, see/. a reniform or spherical bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, that causes cerebrospinal meningitis. [1890 95; < NL;… …   Universalium

  • meningococcus — noun A pathogenic bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, that causes cerebrospinal meningitis See Also: coccus …   Wiktionary

  • meningococcus — n. bacteria which causing infection of the meninges (Bacteriology) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • meningococcus — [mɪˌnɪŋgəʊ kɒkəs, ˌnɪndʒəʊ ] noun (plural meningococci kɒk(s)ʌɪ, kɒk(s)i:) a bacterium involved in some forms of meningitis. [Neisseria meningitidis.] Derivatives meningococcal adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • meningococcus — me·nin·go·coc·cus …   English syllables

  • meningococcus — n.; pl. meningococci the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis, which can cause a serious form of septicaemia and is a common cause of meningitis. Derivatives: meningococcal adj …   The new mediacal dictionary

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