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Neonatal bacterial meningitis remains a severe infectious disease with mortality rates varying between 10% and 15%. The clinical and bacteriologic features of neonatal meningitis collected from January 2001 to December 2007 in a French national survey are presented here.Cases of neonatal meningitis were prospectively collected by a network of 252 pediatric wards covering 61% of French pediatric wards, associated with 168 microbiology laboratories. Neonatal meningitis was classified as early-onset (d0–d4) and late-onset (d5–d28). Statistical analyses were performed according to gestational age and weight at birth.A total of 444 cases of neonatal bacterial meningitis were reported by 114 pediatric wards. Five cases were excluded from analysis. Group B streptococci (GBS) and Escherichia coli accounted respectively for 59% and 28% of the cases, followed by Gram-negative bacilli other than E. coli (4%), other streptococci (4%), Neisseria meningitidis (3%), and Listeria monocytogenes (1.5%). GBS was the most common pathogen both in early-onset (77% vs. 18% for E. coli) and in late-onset meningitis (50% vs. 33% for E. coli). Among preterm infants, E. coli was more commonly isolated (45% vs. 32% for GBS), especially in very preterm infants (54%). GBS was more often involved in seizures than E. coli (41% vs. 25%). The overall mortality rate was 13% but reached 25% in preterm or small for gestational age infants, regardless of the etiology.GBS was the dominant cause of neonatal bacterial meningitis, with 77% of early-onset and 50% of late-onset cases. E. coli was the most common bacteria in preterm infants.