Review

European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 1111-1120

Paediatric epidemiology of Pasteurella multocida meningitis in France and review of the literature

  • H. Guet-RevilletAffiliated withService de Microbiologie, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades
  • , C. LevyAffiliated withGPIP (Paediatric Infectious Disease Group of the French Paediatrics Society)ACTIV (Association Clinique et Thérapeutique Infantile du Val-de-Marne)CRC CHI Créteil
  • , I. AndriantahinaAffiliated withDépartement Enfants, Hôpital Saint-Camille
  • , N. KalachAffiliated withClinique Pédiatrique Saint-Antoine, Groupement des Hôpitaux de l’Institut Catholique de Lille
  • , M.-H. PierreAffiliated withService de Pédiatrie Enfants et Adolescents, Hôpital Victor Provo
  • , A. Elbez-RubinsteinAffiliated withService de Néonatologie-Réanimation Infantile, Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal
  • , C. BonifaceAffiliated withService de Pédiatrie-Néonatologie, Centre Hospitalier de Saintonge
  • , P. BercheAffiliated withService de Microbiologie, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades
  • , R. CohenAffiliated withGPIP (Paediatric Infectious Disease Group of the French Paediatrics Society)ACTIV (Association Clinique et Thérapeutique Infantile du Val-de-Marne)CRC CHI Créteil

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Abstract

We report on six cases of Pasteurella multocida (P. multocida) meningitis occurring between 2001 and 2011 by a French nationwide active surveillance network of paediatric bacterial meningitis (ACTIV/GPIP). The cases accounted for 0.15 % of the paediatric meningitis cases reported between 2001 and 2011 in France, all in infants <4 months old. A review of the literature allowed us to gather information on 42 other cases of P. multocida meningitis in infants <1 year old reported since 1963. Among all 48 cases, 44 % were newborns. An animal source of the infection, including 39 household dogs and cats, was suspected or identified in 42 of 48 cases. A traumatic contact between the child and a pet occurred in 8 % of cases, and a vertical transmission from mother to child during birth in 10.4 %. Most of the time, the infection resulted from non-traumatic contact between the child and the pet, through licking or sniffing. The absence of host risk factors suggests that an immature immune system is responsible, given the young age of the children. Although complications, especially neurological lesions, were not rare (37.5 %), the long-term outcome was usually good. Four infants died of meningitis. This rare disease could be prevented by reducing contact between infants and household pets, and by performing simple hygiene measures before handling babies.