Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BACTERIAL MENINGITIS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is bacterial meningitis?

Bacterial meningitis is inflammation of the meninges – the layers surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord – resulting from a bacterial infection. Bacterial meningitis typically is classified based on the type of bacteria that causes it. For instance, the most common bacterial species to cause meningitis in adults, and increasingly in children, is Streptococcus pneumonia. As the name suggests, this species causes pneumonia, but also causes ear infections. Adults, including pregnant women, can have it in their bodies without experiencing lung or ear disease. In some cases, the organism spreads around the body through the blood, and reaches the meninges, and the fluid – called cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) – that flows through the ventricular system of the brain and around the spinal cord. As a result of the immune system responding to the infection, the meninges become inflamed and doctors call this “pneumococcal meningitis”.


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