[Autochthonous acute viral and bacterial infections of the central nervous system (meningitis and encephalitis)]

Mercedes Pérez-Ruiz, Diego Vicente, José María Navarro-Marí
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 2008, 26: 8-14
Rapid diagnosis of acute viral and bacterial infections of the central nervous system (meningitis and encephalitis) is highly important for the clinical management of the patient and helps to establish early therapy that may solve life-threatening situations, to avoid unnecessary empirical treatments, to reduce hospital stay, and to facilitate appropriate interventions in the context of public health. Molecular techniques, especially real-time polymerase chain reaction, have become the fastest and most sensitive diagnostic procedures for autochthonous viral meningitis and encephalitis, and their role is becoming increasingly important for the diagnosis and control of most frequent acute bacterial meningitides. Automatic and closed systems may encourage the widespread and systematic use of molecular techniques for the diagnosis of these neurological syndromes in most laboratories.


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