[Microbiological diagnosis of central nervous system infections]

María Gema Codina, Marina de Cueto, Diego Vicente, Juan Emilio Echevarría, Guillem Prats
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 2011, 29 (2): 127-34
The infections of the central nervous system are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Several agents including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa can invade the CNS. They are different clinical presentations of these infections: meningitis, encephalitis, brain and epidural abscesses and cerebrospinal fluid shunt infections. The clinical course could be acute, subacute or chronic depending on the infecting agent and the location of the infection. The travelling entails a risk of infection by exotic agents of meningo-encephalitis such as robovirus and arbovirus, which require new diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Despite some progress in the treatment of the CNS infections, the mortality is usually high. Rapid diagnosis and emergent interventions are necessary to improve the outcome of those patients, and early and targeted antimicrobial treatment and support measures are of paramount importance for a favourable clinical patient outcome. The antigen detection techniques and particularly those of genetic diagnosis by amplification (PCR and others) have advanced, and improved the diagnostic of those diseases. In this paper the clinical signs and symptoms and diagnostic procedures of CNS infections are presented.

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