Pneumococcal antibiotic resistance and rates of meningitis in children

Matthew W. Ryan, Patrick J. Antonelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Recent studies have shown alarmingly high rates of antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from patients with otitis media. A recent study has implicated resistant S pneumoniae for rising rates of acute mastoiditis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether S pneumoniae antibiotic resistance has similarly affected the rate of pediatric community-acquired meningitis, the most common intracranial complication of otitis media. Study Design: Retrospective chart review. Methods: All cases of pediatric community-acquired meningitis treated at an academic tertiary care hospital during a 10-year period were reviewed, and meningitis rates were calculated as a proportion of yearly admissions. Results: The overall rate of meningitis decreased linearly during the study period (P = .001). This was largely because of a drop in the rate of Haemophilus influenzae meningitis (P = .001), corresponding with the introduction of H influenzae type B vaccine. Annual rates of S pneumoniae meningitis did not change. Only one case of S pneumoniae meningitis was due to a highly penicillin-resistant strain and isolates from four cases had intermediate sensitivity. Twenty-four of 83 cases were associated with antecedent acute otitis media and 63% of these had been treated with antibiotics before admission. Otitis media, as a cause of meningitis, did not increase during the study period. Conclusion: S pneumoniae is responsible for a greater proportion of cases of pediatric community-acquired meningitis. However, this is because of a decline in the rate of H influenzae cases, not the rise in S pneumoniae antibiotic resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-964
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000


  • Meningitis
  • Otitis media
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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