Neonatal meningitis: Mortality, cerebrospinal fluid, and microbiological findings
This study describes the bacteriology, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings, and mortality of neonatal meningitis over an 11-year period. The minimum incidence of neonatal meningitis at Tygerberg Hospital is 0.72/1000 live births/year. Eighty-eight patients were included in the study. Median birthweight and age at diagnosis were 2320g and 12 days, respectively. CSF culture was positive in 77 (88 per cent), blood culture was positive in 51 (57 per cent), and Gram stain was positive in 58 (66 per cent). The most frequently cultured organisms were Group B Streptococcus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and E. coli. Thirty (34 per cent) patients died, the majority within 72h after admission. The death rate was significantly increased in babies with a birthweight of less than 1 1500g (59 per cent). Increased total CSF protein was associated with an increased risk of death. Normal CSF cell count, total CSF protein and CSF glucose were found in six infants.