[Streptococcus Salivarius Meningitis After Spinal Anesthesia]

Neurologia. Jul-Aug 2004;19(6):331-3.
[Article in Spanish]


Streptococcus salivarius is a usual commensal of skin, gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary tract, oral cavity and paranasal sinuses. Although it is usually considered to have low virulence, S. salivarius may cause life-threatening infections, particularly endocarditis. On the other hand, bacterial meningitis after spinal anesthesia is very rare, there being some reported cases caused by S. salivarius, S. mitis, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. We report a 57 year old man who developed meningitis symptoms within 10 h of an uncomplicated inguinal herniorrhaphy performed during spinal anesthesia. Cerebrospinal cultures grew S. salivarius sensitive to penicillin. The patient was successfully treated with penicillin G and left the hospital without sequelae. In the literature, bacterial meningitis due to S. salivarius is rarely reported. Of the 28 cases, 18 occurred after lumbar puncture for diagnostic or for spinal anesthesia, 5 occurred following a bacteriemia for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or intestinal neoplasia, and the other 5 in patients who had dural defects. We discuss the possible etiological causes of the meningitis due to S. salivarius cases reports. The early recognition of this entity and the aseptic precautions likely to reduce the incidence of infectious complications after lumbar puncture are stressed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Spinal / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Streptococcal Infections / complications*
  • Streptococcus / isolation & purification