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F1000Res. 2017 Jan 27;6. pii: F1000 Faculty Rev-86. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.8533.1. eCollection 2017.

Of the Phrensy: an update on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of bacterial meningitis in the pediatric population.

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Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Washington University in St Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA.


In the past century, advances in antibiotics and vaccination have dramatically altered the incidence and clinical outcomes of bacterial meningitis. We review the shifting epidemiology of meningitis in children, including after the implementation of vaccines that target common meningitic pathogens and the introduction of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis offered to mothers colonized with Streptococcus agalactiae. We also discuss what is currently known about the pathogenesis of meningitis. Recent studies of the human microbiome have illustrated dynamic relationships of bacterial and viral populations with the host, which may potentiate the risk of bacterial meningitis.


bacterial; meningitis; risk factors; vaccinations

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. No competing interests were disclosed. No competing interests were disclosed. No competing interests were disclosed.

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