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Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Sep 1;45(5):e46-51. Epub 2007 Jul 23.

Community-acquired recurrent bacterial meningitis in adults.

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Department of Neurology, Center of Infection and Immunity Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Community-acquired recurrent bacterial meningitis in adults is a relatively rare disease. All previous data were derived from small retrospective case series.


We prospectively evaluated episodes of recurrent bacterial meningitis in a nationwide cohort study in The Netherlands.


Thirty-four episodes of recurrent bacterial meningitis were identified among 31 patients; 3 patients experienced 2 episodes during the study period. The mean age was 43 years, and 25 (74%) of 34 episodes occurred in men. Predisposing conditions were involved in 26 (77%) of 34 episodes; the most common predisposing conditions were remote head injury (17 [53%] of 32 episodes) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage (9 [32%] of 28 episodes). Lumbar puncture revealed an individual CSF indicator of bacterial meningitis for almost all episodes (88%). The outcome was death for 5 (15%) of 34 episodes; 1 additional patient had a suboptimal score on the Glasgow Outcome Scale.


We conclude that most patients with recurrent meningitis are male and have predisposing conditions, which, in most cases, are remote head injury or CSF leakage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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