Meningitis Causes, symptoms and Prevention

Meningitis Causes, symptoms and Prevention

 

Meningitis is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as meninges

The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain & spinal cord

Meningitis can be life-threatening because of the inflammation proximity to the brain & spinal cord, therefore the condition is classified as a medical emergency

The meninges is the system of membranes that envelops the central nervous system

Layers of  Meningitis

Subarachnoid space – is the space that exists between the arachnoid and the pia mater, which is filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Meningitis Causes

  1. Bacterial
  2. Viral
  3. Fungal
  4. Parasitic / protozoal
  5. Physical injury
  6. Cancer
  7. Certain drugs (mainly NSAIDS)
  8. Head injury
  9. Cerebral abscess
  10. Middle ear infection

Brief causes 

1.Bacterial

  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Listeria
  • Meningococcus
  • Mumps
  • Pneumococcus
  • Certain streptococcus

2.Viral

  • Enterovirus (Coxsackie, echovirus)
  • Arboviral (a mosquito-borne disease)
  • Influenza
  • Herpes simplex virus type 2 (especially in infants)
  • Varicella-zoster
  • HIV
  • Mumps
  • Measles

3.Fungal

  • Cryptococcus
  • Coccidioides
  • Histoplasma
  • Mucormycosis
  • Aspergillus

4.Parasitic/protozoal

  • Angiostrongylus
  • Toxoplasma
  • Hydatid
  • Amoeba
  • Plasmodium
  • Cysticercosis

Risk factors

  1. Age Children younger than 5 years
  2. Use of immunosuppressive drugs
  3. Chronic malnutrition
  4. AIDS
  5. CSF shunt
  6. Chronic alcoholism
  7. Diabetes
  8. Pneumonia
  9. Pathophysiology
  10. Causative organism enters the bloodstream
  11. Cross the blood barrier
  12. Inflammatory reaction in meninges
  13. Inflammation of subarachnoid space & pia meter occur
  14. Inflammation may cause ICP
  15. CSF flows in subarachnoid space
  16. CSF cloud ness infected
  17. CSF cell count increase

Meningitis Sign and symptoms

  • Severe headache
  • Irritability
  • Restless ness
  • Stiffness of neck
  • Malaise
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • High-grade fever
  • Tachypnea
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Tachycardia
  • Coma
  • Sleeplessness
  • Phonophobia
  • Photophobia
  • Confusion

Diagnostic evaluation

  • By using signs
  • Physical examination
  • History collection
  • CSF evaluation for pressure, protein, glucose, leukocytes
  • Blood test
  • CBC
  • Blood culture
  • MRI
  • CT scan

Pathophysiology

Complication

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral edema
  • Hearing loss
  • Tissue damage

Meningitis Treatment

Antibiotics for bacterial meningitis type vary depending on the bacteria causing the infection

Antibiotics are not effective in viral meningitis

Other medications & intravenous fluids will be used to treat symptoms such as brain swelling, shocks, and seizures.

Meningitis Prevention

Haemophilus vaccine (Hib vaccine) in children

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is now a routine childhood immunization & is very effective at preventing pneumococcal meningitis.