Risk Factors in Children Older Than 5 Years With Pneumococcal Meningitis: Data From a National Network

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The occurrence of meningitis in children >5 years old may be associated with specific predisposing factors that can be anatomic, such as cerebrospinal fluid fistula or breach, or related to genetic susceptibility or N inborn or acquired immunologic defect. This study aimed to assess the anatomical and immunologic risk factors in children >5 years old with pneumococcal meningitis and prospectively enrolled in the French national meningitis network.


We analyzed all data for children who were 5–15 years old with a diagnosis of pneumococcal meningitis between 2001 and 2013. We describe the frequency and typology of the anatomic or immunologic risk factors, the clinical features and the pneumococcal serotypes.


Among the 316 patients with pneumococcal meningitis, the mortality rate was 9.5% and 23.1% of cases presented complications (abscess, coma, hemodynamic failure, thrombophlebitis cerebral or deafness). In total, 108 children (34%) showed risk factors, the most frequent being anatomic: 70 cases (22.8%) were related to a cerebrospinal fluid breach or fistula and 55 (17.9%) to immunodeficiency, primary or acquired. Serotype data were available for 207 pneumococcal isolates (65.5%). The most frequent serotypes were as follows: 3, 18C, 19A and 19F between 2001 and 2009 and 19F, 3, 19A, 12F, 22F, 17F and 24F after 2009.


We describe the largest cohort of children >5 years old with pneumococcal meningitis. One third of the children had risk factors justifying a complete immunologic and radiologic work-up.

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