Terminal complement component deficiency predisposes to meningococcal infection and is inherited in an autosomal co-dominant manner. An Irish family is described, in which 2 of 3 brothers had recurrent meningococcal infection. A novel screening assay was used to investigate for terminal complement deficiency and the 2 affected brothers were found to be completely deficient in the seventh component of complement (C7). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for C7 revealed lower than normal levels in the remaining brother and parents. C7 M/N protein polymorphism allotyping, used to investigate the segregation of the C7 deficiency genes, showed that the apparently complement sufficient brother was heterozygous C7 deficient and a carrier of one of the deficiency genes. Complement screening should be carried out in any individual suffering recurrent meningococcal infection or infection with an uncommon meningococcal serogroup. Identification of complement deficient patients allows the implementation of strategies to prevent recurrent infection.