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04 May 2007

Epidemiology of childhood meningitis in Kuwait

Entesar H. Husain, Faisal Al-Shawaf, Esmaeel Bahbahani, Mamdooh Hasab El-Nabi, Kamal Abo Al-Fotooh, Magdi Hilmi Shafiq, Nahid Al-Ateeqi, Mohamed Atef Abo Talib

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(5): CR220-223 :: ID: 484601

Abstract

Background: Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine was introduced as part of childhood routine immunization in Kuwait in 1996. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiological, microbiological,
and clinical features of meningitis among children in Kuwait from 2001 to 2003.
Material/Method: A multicenter retrospective review of clinical records of otherwise healthy children hospitalized with a diagnosis of meningitis.
Results: A total of 172 children had a diagnosis of meningitis and had lumbar puncture during the study period. The median age was 8 months. The majority (67%) of the patients were less than 5 yeas of age. Eighty-six (50%) of the patients had aseptic meningitis and 19 (11%) had partially treated
meningitis. The remaining 67 (39%) were diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The underlying organisms were: Neisseria meningitidis (49%), group B streptococci (18%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (18%), Mycobacterium tuberculosis (6%), Gram-negative organisms (6%), and Haemophilus species (1.5%). Twelve percent required admission to the intensive care unit. At the time of discharge from the hospital, 9% had neurological sequelae, the majority of which were in patients who had
S. pneumoniae meningitis. Two patients died during the study period.
Conclusions: N. meningitidis is the leading bacterial agent of bacterial meningitis in Kuwait. S. pneumoniae is responsible for the majority of neurological sequelae of bacterial meningitis in infants and young
children. The results of this study can be used in future public health planning in the context of the newly available vaccines.

Keywords: Child, Preschool, Child, Infant, Newborn, Kuwait - epidemiology, Meningitis, Meningococcal - epidemiology, Meningitis, Pneumococcal - epidemiology, Neisseria meningitidis

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750