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BMC Infect Dis. 2014 May 20;14:276. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-276.

Lipocalin 2 in cerebrospinal fluid as a marker of acute bacterial meningitis.

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Institut Pasteur, Invasive Bacterial Infections Unit and National Reference Centre for Meningococci, 28 Rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris, Cedex 15, France.



Early differential diagnosis between acute bacterial and viral meningitis is problematic. We aimed to investigate whether the detection of lipocalin 2, a protein of the acute innate immunity response, may be used as a marker for acute bacterial meningitis.


Transgenic mice expressing the human transferrin were infected by intraperitoneal route and were imaged. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was sampled up to 48hours post- infection to measure lipocalin 2. We also tested a collection of 90 and 44 human CSF with confirmed acute bacterial or acute viral meningitis respectively.


Lipocalin 2 was detected after 5 h in CSF during experimental infection in mice. Lipocalin 2 levels were significantly higher (p < 0.0001) in patients with confirmed acute bacterial meningitis (mean 125 pg/mL, range 106-145 pg/mL) than in patients with acute viral meningitis (mean 2 pg/mL, range 0-6 pg/mL) with a sensitivity of 81%, a specificity of 93%, a positive predictive value of 96% and a negative predictive value of 71% in diagnosing acute bacterial meningitis.


Increased levels of lipocalin 2 in cerebrospinal fluid may discriminate between acute bacterial and viral meningitis in patients with clinical syndrome of meningitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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