, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 313-324

Development of adjunctive therapies for bacterial meningitis and lessons from knockout mice

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Abstract

Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and is optimally managed in an intensive care environment. Despite the use of antibiotics, the prognosis of this disease is poor because of central nervous system complications such as brain edema formation, cerebrovascular alterations, intracranial hemorrhage, and hydrocephalus. Effective adjunctive therapies are still missing. Experimental studies with animal models have provided new insights into the pathophysiology during the acute phase of bacterial meningitis. In recent years, knockout mice have become a powerful tool to investigate the role of particular genes and have also been applied in bacterial meningitis research. The use of these mice offered new insights into the role of different cytokines, proteases, and oxidants involved in the inflammatory cascade. Translating this knowledge into new therapies will provide new treatment strategies for this serious disease in the future.