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Neurol Clin. 2002 Nov;20(4):1013-38, vi-vii.

Meningitis and encephalitis in children. An update.

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  • 1Departments of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA. daniel-bonthius@uiowa.edu


Over the course of the past decade, much has changed on the landscape of meningitis and encephalitis in children. West Nile virus has emerged in the United States as a new etiologic pathogen causing encephalitis. Human herpesvirus-6 has been identified as a cause of encephalitis and febrile seizures. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus has been identified as an underrecognized neuroteratogen. The emergence of penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae has complicated the treatment of bacterial meningitis, whereas the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine has fundamentally altered the disease's epidemiology. The recognition that much of the neuropathologic change induced by bacterial meningitis is inflammation mediated has paved the way to the demonstration that dexamethasone can substantially improve the outcome of bacterial meningitis in children. Although much progress has been made toward understanding, treating, and preventing these important infections, much remains to be learned.

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