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Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. People sometimes refer to it as spinal meningitis. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacterium is important because the severity of illness and the treatment differ. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, while bacterial meningitis can be quite severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability. For bacterial meningitis, it is also important to know which type of bacteria is causing the meningitis because antibiotics can prevent some types from spreading and infecting other people. Before the 1990s, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis, but new vaccines being given to all children as part of their routine immunizations have reduced the occurrence of invasive disease due to H. influenzae. Today, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
NIH scientists create Salmonella-infected mouse model to study life-threatening meningitis

NIH scientists create Salmonella-infected mouse model to study life-threatening meningitis

National Institutes of Healthscientists have established in mice a way to study potentially life-threatening meningitis caused by Salmonella. [More]
Awareness of signs and symptoms of meningitis remains worryingly low among UK parents, research reveals

Awareness of signs and symptoms of meningitis remains worryingly low among UK parents, research reveals

Thirty-eight per cent of parents in the UK think a distinctive rash is the first symptom of meningitis, despite the fact it often appears after other symptoms, or not at all, according to new research from GSK. [More]
Two widely prescribed antibiotics may combat bacteria differently than previously thought

Two widely prescribed antibiotics may combat bacteria differently than previously thought

Two widely prescribed antibiotics -- chloramphenicol and linezolid -- may fight bacteria in a different way from what scientists and doctors thought for years, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found. [More]
Poor, remote Indigenous Australians have increased risk of sexually transmissible infections

Poor, remote Indigenous Australians have increased risk of sexually transmissible infections

A unique 21-year study of more than 2.4 million cases of infectious disease across Australia reveals a major social divide where being poorer, living remotely or being an Indigenous Australian means having an increased risk of sexually transmissible infections (STIs). [More]
Scientists uncover how microbes invade the brain in bacterial meningitis

Scientists uncover how microbes invade the brain in bacterial meningitis

Simon Fraser University researcher Lisa Craig is part of an international team that has uncovered new details about a microbe that invades the brain, sometimes with fatal results. [More]
Simple blood test can quickly detect serious infections in children

Simple blood test can quickly detect serious infections in children

Using a simple decision rule and a finger prick to test blood, general practitioners can now detect serious infections in children very quickly. This ensures that seriously ill children don't have to wait for a diagnosis until they're hospitalized - a delay that may have fatal consequences. [More]
Women infected with Rift Valley fever virus have increased risk of miscarriages

Women infected with Rift Valley fever virus have increased risk of miscarriages

The mosquito-borne Rift Valley fever virus has been linked to miscarriage in humans. A study of 130 pregnant Sudanese women with fever showed that the risk of miscarriage was seven times greater if the woman was infected with Rift Valley fever virus. [More]
New less invasive method could detect bacterial infection in young febrile infants

New less invasive method could detect bacterial infection in young febrile infants

Physicians from Children's Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University, UC Davis Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital, in collaboration with 19 other pediatric emergency departments around the country, have established a "proof of principle" for measuring patterns of ribonucleic acid (RNA) expression in the bloodstream that can enable clinicians to distinguish bacterial infections from other causes of fever in infants up to two months old. [More]
CHORI scientists reveal improved protective antibody responses to new meningococcal vaccine

CHORI scientists reveal improved protective antibody responses to new meningococcal vaccine

A study conducted by UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute scientists shows greatly improved protective antibody responses to a new mutant vaccine antigen for prevention of disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis - also known as meningococcus - that has the potential to improve the current vaccines for meningitis. [More]
New blood test helps identify bacterial infection in infants with fever

New blood test helps identify bacterial infection in infants with fever

A blood test used to measure patterns of ribonucleic acid (RNA) expression can help determine if fever in infants under 2 months old is caused by bacterial or viral infection, according to a preliminary study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. [More]
Investigational biomarker surpasses current gold standard test for identifying brain shunt infections

Investigational biomarker surpasses current gold standard test for identifying brain shunt infections

In a study of children with brain shunts at Children's of Alabama, a University of Alabama at Birmingham investigational biomarker outperformed the current "gold standard" test for detecting bacterial infections in the shunts. [More]
Naturally-occurring sugars in woman's breast milk may protect infants against life threatening bacteria

Naturally-occurring sugars in woman's breast milk may protect infants against life threatening bacteria

A type of sugar found naturally in some women's breast milk may protect newborn babies from infection with a potentially life threatening bacterium called Group B streptococcus, according to a new study from Imperial College London. [More]
European scientists invent new microscope for rapid detection of deadly infections

European scientists invent new microscope for rapid detection of deadly infections

A group of European scientists have invented a microscope that will allow the fastest ever detection of life-threatening infections caused by bacteria, such as E. coli or Staphylococcus, and conditions such as Meningitis, saving millions of lives every year. [More]
Coordinated treatment for both illnesses could save lives of people with HIV and TB

Coordinated treatment for both illnesses could save lives of people with HIV and TB

Tuberculosis (TB) is a leading killer of people with HIV, and providing therapy for both illnesses simultaneously saves lives - according to new guidelines on the treatment of drug-susceptible TB developed jointly by the American Thoracic Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Infectious Diseases Society of America. [More]
GSK launches educational campaign to help raise awareness of meningitis

GSK launches educational campaign to help raise awareness of meningitis

GSK today launched an educational campaign to help raise awareness of meningitis, a rare but potentially deadly disease. [More]
E. coli K1 inhibits glucose transporters during meningitis, report scientists

E. coli K1 inhibits glucose transporters during meningitis, report scientists

Escherichia coli K1 (E. coli K1) continues to be a major threat to the health of young infants. Affecting the central nervous system, it causes neonatal meningitis by multiplying in immune cells, such as macrophages, and then disseminating into the bloodstream to subsequently invade the blood-brain barrier. [More]
Valley fever diagnosis often overlooked by primary care physicians

Valley fever diagnosis often overlooked by primary care physicians

For patients with pneumonia or ongoing influenza-like symptoms who live in or have visited the west or southwest United States, especially Arizona and central California, infectious diseases experts recommend physicians suspect valley fever, an often-overlooked fungal infection. [More]
Exposure to atmospheric dust, high temperatures can increase risk of bacterial meningitis

Exposure to atmospheric dust, high temperatures can increase risk of bacterial meningitis

Exposure to airborne dust and high temperatures are significant risk factors for bacterial meningitis, a new study by the University of Liverpool's Institute of Infection and Global Health has found. [More]
Researchers design E. coli-based transport capsule to help fight pneumococcal disease

Researchers design E. coli-based transport capsule to help fight pneumococcal disease

Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? [More]
Structures on surface of pneumococci determine bacteria’s ability to cause meningitis

Structures on surface of pneumococci determine bacteria’s ability to cause meningitis

Structures on the surface of pneumococci determine the ability of these bacteria to enter the brain and cause severe infections, according to a paper published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation by researchers at Karolinska Institutet. [More]
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