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Medicine (MD/DO)
Meningitis Causative Organisms by Age
Common Causes of Meningitis: Adolescent and Adult (6 - 60 Years Old)

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Common Causes of Meningitis: Adolescent and Adult (6 - 60 Years Old)

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Common Causes of Meningitis: Adolescent and Adult (6 - 60 Years Old)

Men-in-tights with 6 to 60 year old pirates
The most common etiologies of meningitis in people between the ages of 6 and 60 years of age include S. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis, Enteroviruses and HSV. It should be noted that N. meningitidis is the most common cause of meningitis in teens.

Humans are the only known reservoir for enteroviruses, and transmission of enteroviruses occurs most commonly by the fecal-oral route, leading to aseptic meningitis.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV)
Herpes-harp Virus

Primary Herpes simplex virus (HSV) has been increasingly recognized as a cause of viral meningitis in adults. Viral meningitis in immunocompetent adults is generally caused by HSV-2. Genital lesions are present in approximately 85 percent of patients with primary HSV-2 meningitis, and these generally precede the onset of CNS symptoms by seven days.

Neisseria meningitidis (#1 Cause in Teens)
Knife Men-in-tights

Meningitis due to N. meningitidis tends to strike young, previously well individuals and can progress over a matter of hours to death. The organism is considered a respiratory pathogen and spread is most likely by the aerosol route. It seen more often in less well-developed countries.

Streptococcus pneumoniae
Stripper Nude-Mona

S. pneumoniae is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in adults in the USA. This bacterial meningitis presents with the classic triad of fever, nuchal rigidity, and a change in mental status.


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