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Etiologies and Outcome of Children with Purulent Meningitis at the Yaounde Gyneco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital (Cameroon)

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DOI: 10.4236/ojped.2014.44037    3,163 Downloads   3,717 Views   Citations


Background: Bacterial meningitis is one of the most severe infections in infants and children. It is associated with high mortality and neurological sequelae. In order to improve the prognosis of infants and children with purulent meningitis, we decided to conduct this study whose main objective was to identify the main pathogens responsible and describe the outcome in infants and children aged 2 months to 15 years admitted for purulent meningitis at the Yaounde Gyneco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital (YGOPH). Method: This was a cross-sectional study with retrospective data collection and consecutive sampling. Our study was conducted from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013. The patients included in the study were infants and children aged from 2 months to 15 years who were admitted for bacterial meningitis at the YGOPH, confirmed by bacteriological examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with identification of the pathogen by culture or soluble antigen. The data was analyzed using SPSS Version 18.0 and Excel 2007. The Chi-square test was used to determine the association of various variables. The significance threshold was set as P < 0.05. Results: We selected 171 cases of purulent meningitis who represented 1.54% of admitted patients. The sex ratio was 1.2. We noted that 45% of our patients were aged 2 months to 1 year. The main presenting complaints were fever (98.8%), seizures (44.4%) and vomiting (28.7%). Haemophilus influenzae was found in 67 children (39.2%), followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae in 54 children (31.6%) and Neisseria meningitidis in 17 children (9.9%). Acute complications (status epilepticus, coma) were seen in 33% of patients. The statistically significant (P < 0.05) factors for poor prognosis were aged from 2 months to 1 year (P = 0.0004), coma (P = 0.32), intracranial hypertension (P = 0.0001), the pathogen (P = 0.0032Pneumococcus), a delay of more than three days between the onset of the disease and the treatment (P = 0.0134) and brain abscess (P = 0.0001). We identified 32 deaths (18.7%) and 17 cases (9.9%) with neurological sequelae before discharge. Conclusion: The incidence of acute bacterial meningitis remains high in our context. The main causes were Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitis. The mortality rate was high with poor prognosis factors such as age less than 12 months, delayed care, pneumococcal meningitis, coma, brain abscess, and intracranial hypertension. Focus should be placed on strengthening the routine immunization on vaccine-preventable diseases of infants and children against Haemophilus influenzae, Pneumococcus and Meningococcus.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Nguefack, S. , Chiabi, A. , Enoh, J. , Djouberou, E. , Mah, E. , Kamga, K. , Tatah, S. and Mbonda, E. (2014) Etiologies and Outcome of Children with Purulent Meningitis at the Yaounde Gyneco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital (Cameroon). Open Journal of Pediatrics, 4, 269-275. doi: 10.4236/ojped.2014.44037.


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