Update on bacterial meningitis

Sheldon Kaplan, M. A. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Recently, advances in identifying the etiologic agent, improving antibiotic therapy, and understanding the pathogenesis of complications of bacterial meningitis have been made. The acute and long-term sequelae and their courses have been documented. Acridine orange staining of the cerebrospinal fluid may identify bacteria in children with partially treated meningitis when gram-staining is not helpful. Monoclonal antibodies for meningococcus group B antigen have been developed and may prove useful for testing cerebrospinal fluid. Several newer cephalosporins have been shown to have excellent in vitro activity against the bacteria commonly associated with meningitis. They are indicated in the treatment of infants between 4 and 8 weeks of age, children in septic shock, children with liver disease, and children with infection with gram-negative enteric agents or bacteria resistant to ampicillin and chloramphenicol. Vasculitis and cerebral infarction may result in some of the complications, such as seizures and hemiparesis, noted in children, and their consequences can be documented by various neuroimaging procedures. The prognosis for ataxia is good, while that for sensorineural deafness is poor. The majority of children will have neither intellectual deficits nor difficulty with academic achievement. An effective vaccine against Haemophilus influenzae type b has been developed and is recommended for children between 18 and 60 months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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