PCR, CSF and Bacterial Meningitis

Overview

The impact of bacterial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytokine levels on the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis in infants.

Objective

To compare the results of conventional culture methods with a broad range 16S rRNA PCR assay followed by DNA sequencing to detect bacteria in the CSF. Investigators hypothesize that meningitis is under-diagnosed in infants. They expect that the PCR test will identify the causative organism more often than conventional cultures, particularly in the face of prior antibiotic administration.