Meningitis

Meningitis is a topic covered in the Washington Manual of Medical Therapeutics.

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General Principles

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges) is caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections or by noninfectious causes including medications.
  • Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate therapy without delay for diagnostic procedures. Rapid initiation of antimicrobial treatment decreases mortality.
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterial etiology in adults, followed by Neisseria meningitidis, group B Streptococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae. Listeria monocytogenes is more frequent in the elderly and in immunocompromised hosts.
  • Health care–associated meningitis (after neurosurgical procedures or head trauma) and intraventricular shunt infections are caused by staphylococci (S. aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci) and gram-negative bacilli (especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa).

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General Principles

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges) is caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections or by noninfectious causes including medications.
  • Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and requires immediate therapy without delay for diagnostic procedures. Rapid initiation of antimicrobial treatment decreases mortality.
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacterial etiology in adults, followed by Neisseria meningitidis, group B Streptococcus, and Haemophilus influenzae. Listeria monocytogenes is more frequent in the elderly and in immunocompromised hosts.
  • Health care–associated meningitis (after neurosurgical procedures or head trauma) and intraventricular shunt infections are caused by staphylococci (S. aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci) and gram-negative bacilli (especially Pseudomonas aeruginosa).

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