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Lancet Neurol. 2006 Apr;5(4):332-42.

Pneumococcal meningitis in adults: new approaches to management and prevention.

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Department of Neurology, Centre of Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA), Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherland.


Since the virtual eradication of meningitis due to Haemophilus influenzae type B by vaccination in the developed world, pneumococcal meningitis has become the leading cause of bacterial meningitis beyond the neonatal period. Clinical and experimental research has increased our knowledge about the pathophysiology and pathogenesis of the disease over the past decades. Despite the availability of effective antibiotics, supportive care facilities, and recent advances in adjunctive strategies-ie, adjunctive dexamethasone-mortality and morbidity rates associated with pneumococcal meningitis remain unacceptably high. Although preliminary results after the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine are promising, the incidence of multidrug-resistant pneumococcal strains is rising worldwide. Here we discuss clinical aspects of pneumococcal meningitis in adults, with focus on pathophysiology, and stress the urgent need for adequate preventive measures and new effective treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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