Meningitis - pneumococcal

Pneumococcal meningitis; Pneumococcus - meningitis

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. This covering is called the meninges.

Bacteria are one type of germ that can cause meningitis. The pneumococcal bacteria are one kind of bacteria that cause meningitis.

Pneumococci organism

This picture shows the organism Pneumococci. These bacteria are usually paired (diplococci) or appear in chains. Pneumococci are typically associated with pneumonia, but may cause infection in other organs such as the brain (pneumococcal meningitis) and blood stream (pneumococcal septicemia). (Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Pneumococcal pneumonia

This is a photomicrograph of the organism that causes pneumococcal pneumonia. The bacteria are round, but join together to form chains. Frequently, these join together to form pairs and are called diplococci; the prefix di means two.

Meninges of the brain

The organs of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) are covered by connective tissue layers collectively called the meninges. Consisting of the pia mater (closest to the CNS structures), the arachnoid and the dura mater (farthest from the CNS), the meninges also support blood vessels and contain cerebrospinal fluid. These are the structures involved in meningitis, an inflammation of the meninges, which, if severe, may become encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

CSF cell count

CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) is a clear fluid that circulates in the space surrounding the spinal cord and brain. A CSF cell count is a test to measure the number of red and white blood cells that are in CSF.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention