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J Trop Pediatr. 2013 Aug;59(4):305-8. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmt013. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Oxidative stress in children with bacterial meningitis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, Uttar Pradesh, India.


Bacterial meningitis is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in children. The oxidative stress in bacterial meningitis is barely determined. Forty children with bacterial meningitis were studied for their oxidants and antioxidants status in serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Fever (95%) was commonest presentation followed by seizure and vomiting. Neck rigidity and Kernig's sign were present in 37.5% and 27.5% cases, respectively. Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid malondialdehyde, protein carbonyl and nitrite levels were significantly raised in cases (p < 0.001). Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid ascorbic acid, glutathione and superoxide dismutase levels were significantly decreased in children with septic meningitis (p < 0.001). Significantly elevated malondialdehyde, nitrite and protein carbonyl levels reflect increased oxidative stress, whereas decreased concentrations of glutathione, ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase indicates utilization of the antioxidants in septic meningitis. Thus, changes in oxidants and antioxidants observed suggest production of reactive oxygen species and their possible role in pathogenesis of septic meningitis.


antioxidants; bacterial; meningitis; oxidants

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