Apr 7, 1999

Acute bacterial meningitis in The Gambia: a four-year review of paediatric hospital admissions

Journal of Tropical Pediatrics
A PalmerR Adegbola

Abstract

Over a 4 year period, 1991 to 1994, 420 patients with acute bacterial meningitis were admitted to a tertiary urban hospital in The Gambia. Organisms were isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid in 64 per cent of cases. In the neonatal period Streptococcus pneumoniae was the single most common organism isolated. Amongst infants and children the two major pathogens were Haemophilus influenzae and S. pneumoniae. In the first year of life, children with S. pneumoniae meningitis were younger than those with H. influenzae infection (median age 3 months versus 6 months, p < 0.00003) and they had a higher case fatality rate (37 per cent versus 17 per cent, p = 0.002). In view of the high case fatality rate, there is a need to review overall case management. This will include a review of more effective antibiotics, the possible role of dexamethasone, and the inclusion of efficacious vaccines against H. influenzae and S. pneumoniae disease.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Meningitis, Haemophilus
Influenza
Seasonal Variation
Acute Disease
Cross Infection
Pneumonia
Decline, Mortality
Retrospective Studies
Meningitis, Bacterial
Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient

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