Bacterial meningitis in North India: Trends over a period of eight years

Fatima Khan, Meher Rizvi*, Nazish Fatima, Indu Shukla, Abida Malik, Razia Khatoon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Acute bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency which warrants early diagnosis and aggressive therapy. It is important to know the regional bacterial etiology in semitropical countries like India along with their sensitivity profile to allow optimum management of such patients with least possible mortality. This study was undertaken to study the trends in etiology and the antimicrobial resistance pattern of the pathogens prevalent in North India over a period of 8 years. Methods: The study was performed from June 2001 to June 2009. CSF and blood samples were collected from all patients suspected of meningitis and inoculated on chocolate agar, blood agar and MacConkey agar. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was done using Kirby Bauer disc diffusion method. Detection of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), high level aminoglycoside resistance (HLAR) in Enterococcus species, extended spectrum β lactamases (ESBL), Amp C and metallo-betalactamases was also done. Results: 403 samples were positive on culture. S. aureus was the most common pathogen. Among the gram positive cocci as well as the gram negative bacilli, a gradual decline in the antimicrobial susceptibility was seen. The aminoglycosides had the best spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Towards the end of the study, an alarming rise of MRSA to 69.4%, HLAR among the Enterococci to 60% was noted. Among the Enterobacteriaceae, ESBL and Amp C production was found to be 16.7% and 42% respectively. No vancomycin and imipenem resistance was observed. Conclusion: An entirely different trend in etiology in bacterial meningitis was observed in the semitropical region of North India. The high prevalence of drug resistant pathogens is a cause for worry and should be dealt with by rational use of antimicrobials. Frequent revision in drug policy may be necessitated for optimum management of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalNeurology Asia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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