Infectious Meningitis and Encephalitis

Neurol Clin. 2022 Feb;40(1):77-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2021.08.006.


Infectious meningitis and encephalitis are associated with significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Acute bacterial meningitis is rapidly fatal and early recognition and institution of therapy are imperative. Viral meningitis is typically a benign self-limited illness. Chronic meningitis (defined as presenting with >4 weeks of symptoms) is most often caused by tuberculosis and fungal infection. Because the diagnostic testing for tuberculous meningitis is insensitive and cultures often take weeks to grow, therapy is often initiated empirically when the diagnosis is suspected. Human simplex virus encephalitis is the most common cause of encephalitis and requires prompt treatment with intravenous acyclovir.

Keywords: CNS infection; Encephalitis; Meningitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir
  • Encephalitis* / diagnosis
  • Encephalitis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Bacterial* / diagnosis
  • Meningitis, Viral* / diagnosis


  • Acyclovir