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Volume 46, Number 4, August 2013

Serratia marcescens meningitis: Epidemiology, prognostic factors and treatment outcomes 

Yen-Mu Wu, Po-Chang Hsu, Chien-Chang Yang, Hong-Jyun Chang, Jung-Jr Ye, Ching-Tai Huang, Ming-Hsun Lee

Received: April 9, 2012    Revised: June 14, 2012    Accepted: July 10, 2012   


Background and purpose: 

Serratia marcescens is a rare pathogen of central nervous system infections. This study was to investigate the epidemiology, prognostic factors, and treatment outcomes of S marcescens meningitis. 



This retrospective analysis included 33 patients with culture-proven S marcescens meningitis hospitalized between January 2000 and June 2011. 



Results: Of the 33 patients enrolled, only one did not receive neurosurgery before the onset of S marcescens meningitis. Patients with S marcescens meningitis had higher ratios of brain solid tumors (54.5%) and neurosurgery (97.0%) with a mortality rate of 15.2%. The mean interval between the first neurosurgical procedure and the diagnosis of meningitis was 17.1 days (range, 4e51 days). Only one third-generation cephalosporin-resistant S marcescens isolate was recovered from the patients’ cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens. Compared with the favorable outcome group (n Z 20), the unfavorable outcome group (n Z 13) had a higher percentage of brain solid tumors, more intensive care unit stays, and higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, CSF lactate and serum C-reactive protein concentrations at diagnosis of meningitis. Under the multiple regression analysis, CSF lactate concentration 2-fold the upper limit of normal (ULN) was independently associated with unfavorable outcomes (odds ratio, 7.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.08e47.96; p Z 0.041). 



S marcescens meningitis is highly associated with neurosurgical procedures for brain solid tumors. CSF lactate concentration 2x ULN may predict an unfavorable outcome. Its mortality is not high and empiric treatment with parenteral third-generation cephalosporins
may have a satisfactory clinical response. 


Key words:

Lactate; Meningitis; Outcome; Serratia marcescens