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Eur J Pediatr. 1997 Apr;156(4):288-91.

A retrospective epidemiological study of bacterial meningitis in an urban area in Belgium.

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Department of Paediatrics, Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium.


In order to obtain epidemiological data on the incidence of bacterial meningitis (BM) before the systematic introduction of vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b, a retrospective study of 124 children with proven BM was performed in an urban area in Belgium. N. meningitidis was the most prevalent cause, followed by H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae. Over a period of 6 years the incidence of BM increased ten fold, mainly due to an increase in N. meningitidis. The median age of the children with BM was 17 months and 35% of those with H. influenzae were younger than 1 year. Significant risk factors for BM as a whole were: age under 1 year, male gender, non-Caucasian descent and winter time. These findings may have implications for future vaccination policy in Belgium.


Future vaccination schemes in Belgium should take into account than N. meningitis was the prevalent cause of bacterial meningitis and that certain factors increase the risk for developing bacterial meningitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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