Group A streptococcal meningitis in the antibiotic era

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1999 Aug;18(8):572-8. doi: 10.1007/s100960050349.


A case of group A streptococcal meningitis is reported and the 51 cases reported in the literature since 1966 reviewed. A total of 24 men and 24 women were included in the study; the mean age (+/-SD) was 20.9+/-25.5 years. Fifty-eight percent of the patients had comorbid conditions, 80% had a distant focus of infection, and 65.8% had blood cultures positive for group A streptococci. Seventy-five per cent of the patients were treated with penicillin. The overall case-fatality rate was 12% (6 patients). Sequelae were more prevalent among children (44%) than among adults (7.7%) (OR=9.43; 95% CI, 1.02-438.95; P=0.03). Group A streptococcus is a rare cause of pyogenic meningitis, affecting mainly children or adults with comorbidity. Although the case-fatality rate is relatively low, neurological sequelae are frequent among survivors, especially children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cefotaxime / administration & dosage
  • Cephalosporins / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis*
  • Streptococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Streptococcus pyogenes / isolation & purification*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cephalosporins
  • Cefotaxime