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Meningitis

See Also:
Meningitis: Introduction
Meningitis: Types
Meningitis: Causes & Risk Factors
Meningitis: Signs & Symptoms
Meningitis: Medical Tests & Diagnosis Methods
Meningitis: Treatment Options

Types of Meningitis

There are 4 types of meningitis which are classified by the causal agent. These 4 types of meningitis include:

Viral Meningitis:
Viral meningitis is more common then bacterial and generally less serious. The most common cause of viral meningitis is coxsackievirus and echovirus (also called enterovirus). Meningitis may also develop due to infection of measles, polio, chickenpox viruses or because of complications due to mumps (6).

Bacterial Meningitis:
Various types of bacterial meningitis include:

  • Meningococcal: One of the most common causes of bacterial meningitis universally is meningococcal bacterium occurring in five groups namely – A, B, C, W135 and Y. The bacteria live in the back of nose, throat or upper respiratory tract. About 10-25 percent of the population is a carrier of these bacteria without being affected at any given point of time (7).

  • Meningococcal Septicemia: The meningococcal bacterium is also the causal agent for Meningococcal septicemia. The meningococcus infects the meninges by entering through the blood stream. The bacterium multiplies in the blood stream simultaneously releasing toxins, thus poisoning the blood (septicemia). The septicemia is a medical emergency with fatality rates as high as 20 percent (8).

 

  • Pneumococcal Meningitis: Pneumococcus or Streptococcus pneumonia causes this types of meningitis. People of any age group, especially babies and children under the age of 18 months, are susceptible to infection by this type of meningitis. Elderly people with a defective immune system are also at risk of being infected (9).

  • Hib Meningitis: The causal agent for this type of meningitis is Haemophilus influenzae type B, generally affecting infants (10).

  • TB Meningitis: The bacterium bacillus tubercle causes this type of meningitis. Normally, elderly people and those with “…underlying TB infection” are susceptible to this type of infection. The lungs are usually infected first and later it travels to brain through the blood stream (11).

  • Neonatal Meningitis: Meningitis affecting new-born babies is called neonatal meningitis. Premature babies are at a greater risk and fatality rates are as high as 20%. Escherichia coli and B streptococcal bacteria i.e., Streptococcus agalactiae cause neonatal meningitis (12).

  • Fungal Meningitis:
    Fungal meningitis is rare and caused by Cryptococcus (Cryptococcus neoformans). Generally, immuno-compromised patients such as those suffering from AIDS and leukemia are most susceptible to this type of meningitis (13).

  • Amoebic Meningitis:
    It is a very rare and very serious illness often leading to death. The infection is caused by amoeba living in geothermal pools and stagnating pools of fresh water at temperatures of 86-degree Fahrenheit, (30 C) (14).

See Also:
Meningitis: Introduction
Meningitis: Types
Meningitis: Causes & Risk Factors
Meningitis: Signs & Symptoms
Meningitis: Medical Tests & Diagnosis Methods
Meningitis: Treatment Options

Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
Medical Writer,
OmniMedicalSearch.com

 
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Page Last Modified:
12/02/2010