Detection of Acute Childhood Meningitis by PCR, Culture and Agglutination Tests in Tabriz, Iran
Meningitis is one of the hazardous and life threatening infections and is associated with mortality and morbidity. The aim of this study was to determine etiological agents of childhood bacterial meningitis. The culture, Gram staining, agglutination and PCR assays were used to examine CSF specimens from 277 patients with presumed bacterial meningitis for the occurrence of 4 most common infectious agents consist of N. meningitis, H. influnsae, S. pneumoniae and S. agalactiae between 2008 and 2009 at different wards of the Children Hospital of Tabriz. The mean age of patients was 35±2 (Mean±SEM) month, (minimum 11 days maximum14 years), of all cases 59.6% male and 40.4% female. Overall the diagnosis was confirmed with a CSF culture in 11/277 (3.97%), by agglutination test in 14/277 (5.05%). The isolated bacteria included S. pneumoniae 5 cases, H. influnsae 2 cases, N. meningitis 3 cases and P. aeroginusae 1 case. A positive PCR assay allowed us to diagnose bacterial meningitis in 19 patients (6.8%). In the present study, we found PCR to be a useful and sensitive method for the detection of bacterial DNA in the CSF samples from suspected meningitis patients. Furthermore, to maximize management of meningitis cases, a combination of culture and PCR is necessary.
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