Pasteurella multocida meningitis in an adult: case report and review

Rev Infect Dis. May-Jun 1990;12(3):440-8. doi: 10.1093/clinids/12.3.440.


Pasteurella multocida is a rare cause of adult meningitis. Close animal contact prior to onset of illness is frequent and represents the usual mode of introduction of the organism. In reports of a total of 21 cases of P. multocida meningitis in adults (this case report and 20 described previously in the English-language literature), 18 researchers commented on the occurrence of animal contact: two cases (11%) involved cat bite, 13 (72%) involved animal contact without bite, and three (17%) occurred in the absence of recognized animal contact. Clinical presentation was typical of bacterial meningitides. Overall mortality rate was 30%. The best predictors of poor outcome were initial hemodynamic instability and age greater than 60 years. Documented bacteremia (40% of cases) was not predictive of higher mortality. Effective therapy is based on early recognition of the possibility of P. multocida meningitis and prompt initiation of treatment with penicillin, ampicillin, or a third-generation cephalosporin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Cats*
  • Cellulitis / complications*
  • Cellulitis / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Meningitis / drug therapy
  • Meningitis / etiology*
  • Pasteurella / classification
  • Pasteurella Infections / drug therapy
  • Pasteurella Infections / etiology*