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To identify factors associated with mortality and morbidity among adults admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) for pneumococcal meningitis, particularly the impact of delayed antibiotic administration.We conducted a prospective, multicenter, observational study of 156 consecutive adults hospitalized for pneumococcal meningitis. We analyzed parameters associated with 3-month survival.Fifty-six medical and medical-surgical ICUs in France.None.Of the 148 strains isolated, 56 (38%) were nonsusceptible to penicillin G. At 3 months after ICU admission, the mortality rate was 33% (51/156), and 34% of survivors (36/105) had neurologic sequelae. Multivariate analysis identified three variables as independently associated with 3-month mortality: Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (odds ration [OR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.072–1.153; p = .002); isolation of a nonsusceptible strain (OR, 6.83; 95% CI, 2.94–20.8; p < 10−4), and an interval of >3 hrs between hospital admission and administration of antibiotics (OR, 14.12; 95% CI, 3.93–50.9; p < 10−4). In contrast, a cerebrospinal fluid leukocyte count >103 cells/μL had a protective effect (OR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.10–0.944; p = 0.04).Independent of severity at the time of ICU admission, isolation of penicillin-nonsusceptible strains and a delay in antibiotic treatment following admission were predictors of mortality among patients with pneumococcal meningitis.