Meningoencephalitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Meningoencephalitis is serious, and can be fatal within days without prompt antibiotic treatment. Delayed treatment increases the risk of permanent brain damage or death.

Meningoencephalitis is serious, and can be fatal within days without prompt antibiotic treatment. Delayed treatment increases the risk of permanent brain damage or death.

Meningoencephalitis is the predominant lesion, with focal build-ups of a combined inflammatory cell infiltrate in the meninges and brain.

Causes of Meningoencephalitis

Causative organisms include protozoans, viral and bacterial pathogens.

Particular types include:

1. Bacterial

  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Rickettsia prowazekii
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Tuberculosis
  • Borrelia (Lyme disease).
  • Leptospirosis.

2. Viral

  • Tick-borne meningoencephalitis.
  • West Nile infection.
  • Measles.
  • Epstein-Barr infection.
  • Varicella-zoster infection.
  • Enterovirus.
  • Herpes simplex virus type 1.
  • Herpes simplex virus type 2.
  • Rabies infection.
  • Mumps, a reasonably typical cause of meningoencephalitis. However, most cases are mild, and mumps meningoencephalitis generally does not lead to death or neurologic sequelae.
  • HIV, a very little number of people show meningoencephalitis at the main stage of infection.

3. Other/multiple

  • Granulomatous meningoencephalitis.
  • Antibodies targeting amyloid beta peptide proteins which have been used throughout research on Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The fungus, Cryptococcus neoformans, can be symptomatically manifested within the CNS as meningoencephalitis with hydrocephalus being a very characteristic finding due to the distinct thick polysaccharide capsule of the organism.
  • Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate (anti-NMDA) receptor antibodies, which are also connected with seizures and a movement condition.
  • Vasculitis.

4. Protozoal

  • Main amoebic meningoencephalitis, e.g., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, Sappinia diploidea.
  • Trypanosoma brucei.
  • Toxoplasma gondii (sporozoa).

Amoebic pathogens exist as free-living protozoans. Nonetheless, these pathogens cause uncommon and uncommon CNS infections. N. fowleri produces main amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). The symptoms of PAM are indistinguishable from intense bacterial meningitis. Other amoebae trigger granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), which is a more subacute and can even a non-symptomatic chronic infection. Amoebic meningoencephalitis can imitate a brain abscess, aseptic or chronic meningitis, or CNS malignancy.

5. Animal

  • Halicephalobus gingivalis.
  • Animal pathogens exist as facultative parasites. They are an exceptionally unusual reason for meningoencephalitis.

Symptoms and Signs of Meningoencephalitis

Meningoencephalitis symptoms might mimic the flu (influenza). Symptoms might develop over numerous hours or over a couple of days.

Possible symptoms and signs in anybody older than the age of 2 consist of:

  • Abrupt high fever.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Serious headache that seems different than normal.
  • Headache with queasiness or vomiting.
  • Confusion or trouble focusing.
  • Seizures.
  • Drowsiness or difficulty waking.
  • Level of sensitivity to light.
  • No cravings or thirst.
  • Skin rash (sometimes, such as in meningococcal meningitis).

Treatment for Meningoencephalitis

Antiviral treatment: as early as possible.

  • Acyclovir intravenously at a dose of 10 ~ 15mg/kg every 8 hours for 14 ~ 21d.
  • Ganciclovir intravenously at a dose of 5 ~ 10mg/kg every 12hours for 14 ~ 21d immune therapy: interferon symptomatic therapy.

High fever: physical guideline of body temperature level Seizure: antiepileptic drugs high intracranial pressure-20% mannitol.

Infections: antibiotic drugs.

Is Meningoencephalitis Dangerous?

The disease is connected with high rates of death and severe morbidity.

Meningoencephalitis is very serious and can be deadly. Death can happen in as low as a few hours. Many people recuperate from meningoencephalitis. Nevertheless, long-term specials needs (such as mental retardation, hearing loss, and learning disabilities) can arise from the infection.


Last modified: August 2, 2018

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