Meningitis – Causes

Meningitis is the infection and inflammation of the lining(meninges) around the brain and spinal cord and sometimes the fluid (cerebral spinal fluid, or CSF) that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can range from mild to life-threatening infections depending on the severity of the infecting organism, age of the person and his health condition.

Causes
Meningitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections. Viruses are the most common cause of viral infections. Other less common causes of meningitis includes infections by fungi, amoeba, protozoa.

Non-infectious causes of meningitis include systemic diseases like SLE, sarcoidosis, Polyarteritis nodosa, Rheumatoid arthritis, toxins, certain medications and malignancies. Meningitis caused by non-infectious agents are called sterile meningitis because no micro-organism is isolated in the spinal fluid.

Bacterial infections commonly include infection by

  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

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