Soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1: a biomarker for bacterial meningitis

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To evaluate whether soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1 (sTREM-1) in CSF can serve as a biomarker for the presence of bacterial meningitis and outcome in patients with this disease.


Retrospective study of diagnostic accuracy.

Setting and patients:

CSF was collected from 92 adults with community-acquired bacterial meningitis who participated in the prospective Dutch Meningitis Cohort Study; 8 patients with viral meningitis and 9 healthy control subjects.


CSF sTREM-1 levels were higher in patients with bacterial meningitis (median 82 pg/ml, range 0–988) than in those with viral meningitis (0 pg/ml, 0–48) and controls (0 pg/ml, 0–36). The diagnostic accuracy of sTREM-1 in discriminating between patients with and without bacterial meningitis, expressed as the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, was 0.82. At a cutoff level of 20 pg/ml the sensitivity was 0.73 and specificity 0.77. In patients with bacterial meningitis CSF sTREM-1 levels were associated with mortality (survivors, median 73 pg/ml, range 0–449 pg/ml; nonsurvivors, 151 pg/ml, 0–988).


Measuring sTREM-1 in CSF may be a valuable new additional approach to accurately diagnose bacterial meningitis and identify patients at high risk for adverse outcome. Therefore a prospective study of sTREM-1 as a biomarker in bacterial meningitis is needed.

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