Meningitis – staphylococcal

Alternative Names

Staphylococcal meningitis

Definition of Meningitis – staphylococcal

Staphylococcal is a bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Staphylococcal meningitis is caused by bacteria. When it is caused by or bacteria, it usually develops as a complication of a surgical procedure, or as an infection spread by the blood from another site.


Symptoms usually come on quickly, and may include:

Signs and tests

Physical examination will usually show:


Treatment with antibiotics should be started as soon as possible. Ceftriaxone is one of the most commonly used antibiotics. Nafcillin is also an effective treatment for staphylococcal meningitis.

Expectations (prognosis)

Early treatment improves the outcome. However, 3 – 5% of patients do not survive. Young children and adults over age 50 have the highest risk of death.


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/15/2010

Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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