Meningitis due to enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1996 Oct;15(10):820-3. doi: 10.1007/BF01701527.


An enterotoxigenic strain of Bacteroides fragilis was the sole organism isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of a two-and-a-half-month neonate who had a medullary-colonic fistula as part of a complex congenital malformation, but no brain abscess. A rapid latex particle agglutination test for detection of bacterial antigen was positive for Haemophilus influenzae type b, suggesting that Bacteroides fragilis and Haemophilus influenzae type b might share some capsular antigens. In order to determine the role of the enterotoxin with respect to virulence of the strain, antibodies to a 20 kDa protein were sought in the patient's serum, but Western blot of the culture supernatant revealed only antibodies to a 45 kDa bacterial protein. The patient was successfully treated with metronidazole and imipenem.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Bacterial / analysis
  • Antitrichomonal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteroides Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Bacteroides Infections / diagnosis*
  • Bacteroides Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacteroides fragilis*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Enterotoxins / analysis
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Humans
  • Imipenem / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Latex Fixation Tests
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Meningitis, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Meningitis, Haemophilus / diagnosis
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Thienamycins / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Antitrichomonal Agents
  • Enterotoxins
  • Thienamycins
  • Metronidazole
  • Imipenem