Acute bacterial meningitis (ABM) is a life-threatening and severe infection involving the membranes of the central nervous system (CNS). ABM often presents in fulminant fashion with multiple complications and a high fatality rate despite the availability of potent antimicrobial therapy. The annual incidence of ABM is approximately 3.0 cases per 100,000 population in the United States but varies greatly according to risk factors such as geography, race, and gender. Mortality rates also vary according to the same risk factors and depend on the type of invading pathogen, ranging from 6% for Haemophilus influenzae meningitis to 35% for nosocomial meningitis. Currently, two issues dominate the field of ABM: first, the change in epidemiology effected by the introduction of H. influenzae type b vaccine, and second, the emergence of multidrug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae as a new pathogen. Recognition of pathogens based on age and prompt initiation of antimicrobial therapy are the cornerstones of ABM management.
KeywordsInfluenza Cocaine Amphotericin Dobutamine Clostridium
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