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Review
, 36 (3), 124-31

[From Prospective Molecular Diagnosis of Enterovirus Meningitis...to the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance]

[Article in French]
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Review

[From Prospective Molecular Diagnosis of Enterovirus Meningitis...to the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance]

[Article in French]
H Peigue-Lafeuille et al. Med Mal Infect.

Abstract

Meningitis initially presents with intense manifestations that are not generally specific to a given etiology. The first major question for the physician is to decide whether to initiate a probabilistic treatment. Enteroviruses are a major cause of aseptic meningitis, which is benign in immunocompetent patients. Molecular diagnosis is now becoming the gold standard and its prospective use at the time of patient admission, on the sole basis of clinical suspicion of meningitis, has yielded more reliable data. Cytological and biochemical data from CSF analyses are of low predictive value to influence the initial decision to treat with antibiotics. In addition, cases of meningitis during winter are not uncommon. Adults are concerned in about 25% of cases. Thus, if molecular diagnostic tools are not rapidly available, patient management may be inconsistent, leading to unnecessary scans, laboratory investigations and treatment (including overconsumption of antibiotics). Current progress in the automation and practicability of viral genomic detection yields the result within a few hours after admission. Rapid molecular viral diagnosis of a benign disease that does not require treatment but which is initially worrying is of unquestionable advantage. It is of benefit to both the patient and the community because of its input on health economics, the needless consumption of drugs and, as a result, resistance to antibiotics. The diagnosis of meningitis can no longer remain a retrospective diagnosis after elimination of all the possible causes, since not prescribing unnecessary laboratory tests and not treating are true therapeutic decisions.

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