Journal Article

Group B Streptococcal Meningitis in Adults: Report of Twelve Cases and Review

Pere Domingo, Nicolau Barquet, Manuel Alvarez, Pere Coll, Juan Nava and Javier Garau

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 5, pages 1180-1187
Published in print November 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/516094
Group B Streptococcal Meningitis in Adults: Report of Twelve Cases and Review

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Group B streptococcus (GBS) is the leading etiologic agent of bacterial meningitis and sepsis during the neonatal period, but it is an infrequent cause of meningitis in adults. We report 12 episodes of group B streptococcal meningitis in adults and review 52 cases reported in the literature. A total of 24 men and 40 women were included in the study; the mean age (± SD) was 49.2 ± 20.5 years (range, 17–89 years). All the patients had cerebrospinal fluid cultures positive for GBS. Eighty-six percent of the patients had comorbid conditions, 50% had a distant focus of infection, and blood cultures yielded GBS for 78.7%. The overall case-fatality rate was 34.4% (22 patients). Factors associated with a poor outcome were advanced mean age (± SD) (61.5 ± 17.4 years vs. 42.8 ± 19.2 years; P = .0003) and the presence of complications on admission (P = .0001). Seven percent of survivors had neurological sequelae. Group B streptococcal meningitis in adults has become increasingly frequent in recent years; it tends to occur in patients with severe underlying conditions and is associated with a high case-fatality rate. Factors associated with a poor prognosis are advanced age and the occurrence of neurological and extraneurological complications.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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