Common Causes Of Bacterial Meningitis

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The four most common causes of bacterial meningitis come from Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitides, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), and Listeria monocytogenes. S. pneumoniae has been the study of scientist for the past century striving for both clinical and basic scientific discovery. In 1881 Louis Pasteur used the saliva of an infected child and injected it into rabbits identifying slightly elongated diplococcic (Smith 2012). S. pneumoniae is a gram positive, facultative anaerobe. Pneumococcus is the commonest cause of bacterial meningitis in adults in much of the world. There are more than 90 antigenically different serotypes of S pneumoniae as determined by the polysaccharide capsule; the target for all currently licensed vaccines (Mcgill et al. 2016). N. meningitides was identified in the spinal fluid of a patient in 1887 by Anton Weichselbaum; he called the organism Diplococcus intracellularis (Yazdankhah 2004). Neisseria meningitides, an aerobic gram negative diplococcus is an important cause of devastating acute bacterial meningitis and sepsis that often leads to outcomes that include limb loss, renal failure, spastic quadriplegia, cranial nerve palsies, hearing loss and death. The disease starts as a sporadic case in the presence of favorable environment and host factors, which subsequently progresses into an outbreak and then an epidemic (Gorthi et al. 2010). The organism has both an inner cytoplasm and an outer membrane, separated by a cell wall.
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