In the past century, advances in antibiotics and vaccination have dramatically altered the incidence and clinical outcomes of bacterial meningitis. We review the shifting epidemiology of meningitis in children, including after the implementation of vaccines that target common meningitic pathogens and the introduction of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis offered to mothers colonized with Streptococcus agalactiae. We also discuss what is currently known about the pathogenesis of meningitis. Recent studies of the human microbiome have illustrated dynamic relationships of bacterial and viral populations with the host, which may potentiate the risk of bacterial meningitis.
- Risk factors