Bacterial Meningitis Inflammation of the meninges Caused by bacteria, Viruses , fungus, parasites, cancer and certain drugs An empyema occurring in the brain as an result of meningitis. Age Group Causes Newborns Group B Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae type b Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Listeria monocytogenes Infants and Children Adolescents and Young Adults Older Adults Streptococcus pneumoniae One of the top contributors ear infections and can cause Pneumococcal pneumonia. Gram positive containing polysaccharide capsule prevents the bacteria from undergoing phagocytosis Normally causes Listeriosis Listeria monocytogenes Gram positive bacteria that uses the protein “internalin” to attach to a cadherin protein found in the blood brain barrier. Neisseria meningitidis Gram negative bacteria, has trimeric autotransporter adhesin or adhesion proteins which to bind to host cells. These bacteria can live normally inside of your body and never cause meningitis. Through an ear infection, head trauma, neural surgery or an compromised immune system, the chances of contracting meningitis are greatly increased. The bacteria grows inside the Subarachnoid space in cerebral spinal fluid The cerebral spinal fluid contains everything these bacteria could want. Bacterial Meningitis since can be caused by many different bacteria has an incubation period ranging for 2-10 days with 4 days being the average. The bacteria release endotoxins (cell membrane and cell wall fragments). Gram positive (Streptococcus, Listeria) -cell wall Gram negative(Neisseria ) -cell membrane, cell wall The immune system recognizes the endotoxins inside the CSF and begins killing the bacteria. Creating dead bacteria and dead white cells (pus) called an empyema. This inflammation puts pressure on the brain. Sudden onset of Headaches, neck stiffness, fear, confusion, vomiting, irritability, skin rashes, inability to tolerate light or loud noises These bacteria can be spread through nose and throat body fluids. High risk groups Infancy Elderly Immunocompromised Head trauma neural surgery Ear infections College students Military recruits The body cannot handle this disease on its own. Untreated bacterial meningitis has a mortality rate of 50%. Even with early treatment 5-10% of the patients die within the first 2448 hours since the onset of symptoms. While others can survive but be deaf or develop epilepsy or other cognitive issues. Blood cultures are used to determine signs of inflammation and a lumbar puncture is used to definitively test for the presence of bacteria in the CSF The bacteria cultures are grown an are tested with gram staining. Patients who show these symptoms are immediately put on corticoid steroids, which reduce the bodies inflammatory response. Bacterial Meningitis is so virulent that treatment is started before the result of the staining and LP are known, with treatment being changed when the results are known. The treatment is based upon any information the doctors have available. Certain strains and their resistances are more predominate in certain regions. Some symptoms (rashes) only occur in certain strains (Neisseria) The MCV4 Vaccine can prevent 4 types of bacterial meningitis. The MCV4 contains no active bacteria, only an antigen taken from a polysaccharide capsule. This is sugar capsule that the bacteria uses to avoid phagocytosis. References "Acute Bacterial Meningitis: Meningitis: Merck Manual Home Edition." Acute Bacterial Meningitis: Meningitis: Merck Manual Home Edition. N.p., n.d. 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