Pneumococcal meningitis threshold model: a potential tool to assess infectious risk of new or existing inner ear surgical interventions
AuthorWei, Benjamin P. C.; Shepherd, Robert K.; Robins-Browne, Roy M.; Clark, Graeme M.; O'LEARY, STEPHEN
Source TitleOtology & Neurotology
University of Melbourne Author/sWei, Benjamin; Clark, Graeme; O'Leary, Stephen; Shepherd, Robert; Robins-Browne, Roy; Richardson, Rachael
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsWei, B. P. C., Shepherd, R. K., Robins-Browne, R. M., Clark, G. M., & O'Leary, S. (2006). Pneumococcal meningitis threshold model: a potential tool to assess infectious risk of new or existing inner ear surgical interventions. Otology & Neurotology, 27(8), 1152-1161.
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a publisher’s version of an article published in Otology & Neurotology 2006. This version is reproduced with permission of Lippincott Wilkins & Williams.
Hypothesis: A minimal threshold of Streptococcus pneumoniae is required to induce meningitis in healthy animals for intraperitoneal (hematogenous), middle ear, and inner ear inoculations, and this threshold may be altered via recent inner ear surgery. Background: There has been an increase in the number of reported cases of cochlear implant-related pneumococcal meningitis since 2002. The pathogenesis of pneumococcal meningitis is complex and not completely understood. The bacteria can reach the central nervous system (CNS) from the upper respiratory tract mucosa via either hematogenous route or via the inner ear. The establishment of a threshold model for all potential routes of infection to the CNS in animals without cochlear implantation is an important first step to help us understand the pathogenesis of the disease in animals with cochlear implantation. Methods: Fifty-four otologically normal adult Hooded Wistar rats (27 receiving cochleostomy and 27 controls) were inoculated with different amounts of bacterial counts via three different routes (intraperitoneal, middle ear, and inner ear). Rats were monitored during 5 days for signs of meningitis. Blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and middle ear swabs were taken for bacterial culture, and brains and cochleae were examined for signs of infection. Results: The threshold of bacterial counts required to induce meningitis is lowest in rats receiving direct inner ear inoculation compared with both intraperitoneal and middle ear inoculation. There is no change in threshold between the group of rats with cochleostomy and the control (Fisher's exact test, p < 0.05). Conclusion: A minimal threshold of bacteria is required to induce meningitis in healthy animals and is different for three different routes of infection (intraperitoneal, middle ear, and inner ear). Cochleostomy performed 4 weeks before the inoculation did not reduce the threshold of bacteria required for meningitis in all three infectious routes. This threshold model will also serve as a valuable tool, assisting clinicians to quantitatively analyze if the presence of a cochlear implantor other CNS prostheses alter the risk of meningitis.
Keywordspneumococcal meningitis; routes of infection; Streptococcus pneumoniae; threshold model
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