Methods of rapid diagnosis for the etiology of meningitis in adults

Nathan C. Bahr, David R. Boulware

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Infectious meningitis may be due to bacterial, mycobacterial, fungal or viral agents. Diagnosis of meningitis must take into account numerous items of patient history and symptomatology along with regional epidemiology and basic cerebrospinal fluid testing (protein, etc.) to allow the clinician to stratify the likelihood of etiology possibilities and rationally select additional diagnostic tests. Culture is the mainstay for diagnosis in many cases, but technology is evolving to provide more rapid, reliable diagnosis. The cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay (Immuno-Mycologics) has revolutionized diagnosis of cryptococcosis and automated nucleic acid amplification assays hold promise for improving diagnosis of bacterial and mycobacterial meningitis. This review will focus on a holistic approach to diagnosis of meningitis as well as recent technological advances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1103
Number of pages19
JournalBiomarkers in Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.


  • Aseptic meningitis
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Cryptococcus meningitis
  • Diagnosis
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Tuberculosis meningitis


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