Tuberculous meningitis in children: problem to be addressed effectively with thorough contact tracing

Eur J Pediatr. 2000 Jul;159(7):535-8. doi: 10.1007/s004310051327.


Worldwide, tuberculosis is the most common cause of death from a single infectious agent in children. There has been an increase in its incidence in Europe in recent years. Early diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis in children is extremely difficult because of its nonspecific early presentation and it is universally fatal if not recognised and treated. Young children are at increased risk of acquiring tuberculosis and it is more likely to be disseminated in neonates. In summarising the cases of three children with tuberculous meningitis admitted to our centre, we highlight the importance of diagnosis and contact tracing of the source case.

Conclusion: Diagnosis of tuberculous meningitis requires a high index of suspicion, thorough contact tracing, and appropriate investigations with early treatment as the key to reducing morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / transmission*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / transmission


  • Antitubercular Agents