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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1992 May;36(5):949-54.

Therapy of experimental meningitis due to Salmonella enteritidis.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville 22903.


In many areas of the developing world, Salmonella spp. account for greater than 50% of the gram-negative enteric organisms isolated from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The response of Salmonella meningitis to conventional therapy (chloramphenicol and/or ampicillin) is slow, complications arise frequently, and mortality rates of 60 to 80% are common. Two newer agents, ceftriaxone and imipenem, were compared with ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX) in the therapy of experimental Salmonella meningitis beginning 14 h after intracisternal inoculation and continued by constant intravenous infusion for 8 h. Drug concentrations in serum and CSF closely approximated those achieved in the sera and CSF of humans receiving standard parenteral regimens. Penetration into purulent CSF [(concentration of drug in CSF/concentration of drug in serum) x 100] ranged from 18 to 41%. The rate of bacterial killing in CSF was significantly (P less than 0.001) more rapid during therapy with ceftriaxone and imipenem than it was during therapy with chloramphenicol or TMP-SMX. Ceftriaxone and imipenem sterilized the CSF of six of seven animals at 8 h, whereas it sterilized the CSF of three of eight animals treated with ampicillin (P = 0.18), one of eight animals treated with chloramphenicol, and none of seven animals treated with TMP-SMX (P less than or equal to 0.01; ceftriaxone or imipenem versus chloramphenicol or TMP-SMX). New beta-lactams, including ceftriaxone and imipenem, appear to be effective therapy against Salmonella spp. in this animal model and deserve further evaluation in humans.

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