One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bacterium involved in some forms of meningitis and cerebrospinal infection.
- ‘The illness is caused by bacteria, called meningococci, which invade the linings of the brain, causing severe inflammation that can be fatal.’
- ‘Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a globally distributed cause of bacterial meningitis and septicemia.’
- ‘Overcrowding provides ideal conditions for transmission of meningococci.’
- ‘Because bacterial meningitis is most likely to occur in confined settings such as college dorms, some colleges ask that incoming students be vaccinated against meningococcus.’
- ‘There's no vaccine available in the UK against the commonest cause of meningitis - Group B meningococcus.’
Late 19th century: from meninges + coccus.
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