Show Summary Details
Page of

Infections of the central nervous system 

Infections of the central nervous system
Chapter:
Infections of the central nervous system
Author(s):

Peter Davey

, Mark Wilcox

, William Irving

, and Guy Thwaites

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199689774.003.0028
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 November 2019

Infections of the central nervous system include meningitis, encephalitis, and brain abscess and can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. All infections of the central nervous system are serious, with the exception of viral meningitis which is usually self-limiting. Many infections, notably bacterial meningitis and brain abscess, will prove fatal unless diagnosed and treated promptly. Streptococcus pneumonia, Neisseria meningitidis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis. In the neonate, Escherichia coli and group B streptococci predominate. Treatment requires high-dose parenteral antibiotic, such as penicillin or ceftriaxone, tailored to the particular pathogen. Viral encephalitis caused by herpes simplex virus must be treated early with intravenous aciclovir to reduce the risk of death or brain injury. Brain abscesses vary by site and often have a polymicrobial cause; management requires coordination of radiological, neurosurgical, and antibiotic expertise.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.