Short-course treatment of meningococcal disease (including meningitis) with 4–5 days of an i.v. β-lactam is of proven efficacy. Since April 1998, all adult patients with meningococcal disease admitted to Auckland Hospital were prospectively treated with 3 days of i.v. benzylpenicillin.Aims
To assess the clinical features, laboratory findings, disease complications and outcome of patients with meningococcal disease prospectively treated with 3 days of i.v. benzylpenicillin.Methods
A retrospective chart review of all adult patients with meningococcal disease admitted to Auckland Hospital from April 1998 to December 2002 was conducted.Results
Ninety patients with definite (n = 72) or probable (n = 16) meningococcal disease were admitted during the study period. Two were excluded on the basis of treatment duration. The remaining 88 patients received a mean ± standard deviation duration of treatment of 3.1 ± 0.5 days (excluding those who died while receiving treatment). Six patients (7%) died, four of whom while on treatment. There were no relapses.Conclusion
Three days of i.v. benzylpenicillin for the treatment of adults with meningococcal disease is effective.