The prototype history for this organism is either a still birth or a neonate with death ensuing within two or three days post-partum due to high fever, sepsis, and respiratory distress. The mother usually experienced a flu-like illness late in the third trimester of pregnancy, characterized by low-grade fever, myalgias, malaise, and backache. In this case, biopsy material of brain tissue obtained at autopsy was submitted to the pathology laboratory for tissue diagnosis and fluid from the pia-arachnoid was sent to the microbiology laboratory for culture.
Histology of brain biopsy
The H & E section of the brain biopsy (left frame of image)revealed edema of the parencymya with the accumulation of inflammatory cells in the perivascular spaces. The close in view of the exudate (right frame of image) reveals that the inflammatory exudate is comprised primarily of polymorphonuclear luekocytes. The histologic diagnosis therefore is suppurative meningitis, with culture results necessary to establish the etiologic agent.