The causative organisms of bacterial meningitis in Korean children in 1996-2005

Hye Kyung Cho, Hyunju Lee, Jin Han Kang, Kwang Nam Kim, Dong Soo Kim, Yun Kyung Kim, Jung Soo Kim, Jong Hyun Kim, Chang Hwi Kim, Hwang Min Kim, Su Eun Park, Sung Hee Oh, Eun Hee Chung, Sung Ho Cha, Young Youn Choi, Jae Kyun Hur, Young Jin Hong, Hoan Jong Lee, Kyung Hyo Kim

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44 Scopus citations


Bacterial meningitis remains a serious cause of morbidity and mortality in childhood, despite the availability of effective vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) or Streptococcus pneumoniae. The purpose of this study was to analyze data on bacterial meningitis cases in Korea from 1996 through 2005. The information of all hospitalized bacteria-proven meningitis cases was obtained from 17 university hospitals nationwide. A total of 402 cases were identified. Of these, 125 (29.9%) cases were neonates. Streptococcus agalactiae was the most common bacteria responsible for 99 (24.6%) of all cases regardless of age, followed by S. pneumoniae for 91 (22.6%) and H. influenzae for 67 (16.7%) patients. The common etiology beyond the neonatal period was S. pneumoniae for 91 (33.0%) followed by H. influenzae for 63 (22.8%) patients. The overall case fatality rate was 9.4%, which was similar with that in 1986-1995. In conclusion, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae were important etiologic agents of bacterial meningitis in children in the last 10 yrs. It is required to establish the preventive strategy of the three bacteria. The nationwide epidemiologic study should be continued to evaluate immunization strategy and efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-899
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Bacterial
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Meningitis
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Streptococcus agalactiae
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae


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