Methods for rapid diagnosis of meningitis etiology in adults

Victoria Poplin, David R. Boulware, Nathan C. Bahr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Infectious meningitis can be caused by viral, bacterial or fungal pathogens. Despite widely available treatments, many types of infectious meningitis are still associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Delay in diagnosis contributes to poor outcomes. Cerebrospinal fluid cultures have been used traditionally but are time intensive and sensitivity is decreased by empiric treatment prior to culture. More rapid techniques such as the cryptococcal lateral flow assay (IMMY), GeneXpert MTB/Rif Ultra (Cepheid) and FilmArray multiplex-PCR (Biofire) are three examples that have drastically changed meningitis diagnostics. This review will discuss a holistic approach to diagnosing bacterial, mycobacterial, viral and fungal meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-479
Number of pages21
JournalBiomarkers in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript was supported by the National Institute Of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the NIH under award numbers K23NS110470 and R01NS086312. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Nathan C Bahr and co-Authors.


  • Aseptic meningitis
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Cryptococcal meningitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Tuberculous meningitis


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