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Mima Polymorpha—Causative Agent in Acute and Chronic Meningitis

George A. Sprecace, MC; Wilbur E. Dunkelberg Jr., MSC
JAMA. 1961;177(10):706-708. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040360011012.
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A NEW TRIBE of organisms, the Mimeae, was proposed by DeBord1 in 1939; this tribe, composed of short, gram-negative rods or diplococci, nonmotile, nonspore-forming, and growing well on simple media, is noted especially for its ability to mimic neisseriae. Mima polymorpha, the only species of the genus, shows no fermentation of sugars, but some strains are oxidase positive.

The clinical importance of this organism has become increasingly apparent in recent years. It has been incriminated in a variety of conditions including fulminating septicemia,2 subacute bacterial endocarditis,3,4 dermatitis,5 urethritis and other urinary tract infections,6,7 infection of brain substance secondary to head trauma,8 and meningitis. Inadequate differentiation from Neisseria is possibly a basis for current reports of penicillin-resistant gonorrhea diagnosed by smears.9,10

Since the appearance in 1948 of the first reported case of meningitis caused by this organism,11 6 other cases have been reported in


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