Laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis

Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
J E SippelZ Farid


This overview summarizes studies conducted since 1970 on the laboratory diagnosis of bacterial meningitis at the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3. These investigations demonstrated that counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE), agglutination of sensitized staphylococcal cells or latex particles, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) effectively detect and identify specific antigens in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with meningococcal, pneumococcal, and Haemophilus meningitis. ELISA was the most sensitive of these methods and CIE the least sensitive. ELISA was also used to measure antibodies to meningococcal outer membrane protein antigens in patients. Finally, high rates of group A meningococcal nasopharyngeal carriage were found in group A meningococcal meningitis patients and populations associated with group A patients, but not in populations that were not associated with group A disease.


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Related Concepts

Agglutination Tests
Monoclonal Antibodies
Antigens, Bacterial
Countercurrent Electrophoresis Measurement
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
Latex Fixation Tests
Meningitis, Meningococcal, Serogroup Y
Structure of Choanae
Neisseria meningitidis
Meningitis, Bacterial

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