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Volume 33, Number 2, June 2000

Characteristics of neonatal bacterial meningitis in a teaching hospital in Taiwan from 1984-1997

Hsiao-Yun Chang Chien, Nan-Chang Chiu, Wen-Chen Li, Fu-Yuan Huang
Department of Pediatrics, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC



During the period from 1984 to 1997, 85 bacterial meningitis neonates with positive cerebrospinal fluid cultures were treated. The ages of these patients ranged from 1 to 28 days. The male to female ratio was 1.7 to 1. The most common causative agent was group B beta-hemolytic streptococci (GBS, 31.8%), followed by Escherichia coli (20%), Proteus mirabilis (7.1%), Enterobacter cloacae (5.9%), other streptococci excluding Streptococcus pneumoniae (5.9%), Chryseobacterium meningosepticum (5.9%), enterococci (4.7%), and Klebsiella pneumoniae (3.5%). Among the 85 patients treated, 51 (60%) were younger than 7 days old. Among them, dyspnea was the most common clinical manifestation. In contrast, fever and diarrhea were seen more frequently in neonates with late onset of disease (after seven days of age). Ampicillin and cefotaxime were the most commonly used antibiotics. The most frequently encountered complications were hydrocephalus and seizures. Since 1991, GBS has overtaken E. coli as the leading cause of neonatal bacterial meningitis. This was accompanied by a fall in the mortality rate, but a sustained high incidence of complications and sequelae. The results of this study highlight the importance of developing strategies to prevent group B streptococcal infection.


J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2000;33:100-104.