The burden of pneumococcal meningitis in Austrian children between 2001 and 2008

D S Klobassa, B Zoehrer, M Paulke-Korinek, U Gruber-Sedlmayr, K Pfurtscheller, V Strenger, A Sonnleitner, R Kerbl, B Ausserer, W Arocker, W Kaulfersch, B Hausberger, B Covi, F Eitelberger, A Vécsei, B Simma, R Birnbacher, H Kurz, K Zwiauer, D WeghuberS Heuberger, F Quehenberger, H Kollaritsch, W Zenz

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

19 Citations (Scopus)


UNLABELLED: The present study was conducted to evaluate the burden of pneumococcal meningitis in Austrian children between 2001 and 2008. Clinical outcome was retrospectively analyzed both on discharge and on follow-up investigations. This study was based on a prospective multicentre surveillance study on hospitalized invasive pneumococcal infections in Austrian children with a total annual "study population" of about 399,000 children aged below 5 years per year. Between 2001 and 2008, 74 cases of pneumococcal meningitis were identified in children aged below 5 years. The mean annual incidence rate for pneumococcal meningitis was 2.3 per 100,000 children in this age group. In 57/74 children (mean age on admission 14.5 ± 13.3 months), outcome data on hospital discharge were available: 5 deaths (8.8%), 20 children (35.1%) with sequelae and 32 children (56.1%) without sequelae were observed. Sequelae on discharge included motor impairment in 8 children (14.0%), hearing impairment in 9 children (15.8%) and/or other complications in 14 children (24.6%). In 7/8 children with motor deficits, matching cerebral lesions were identified by neuroimaging: cerebral infarction in five children, cerebral vasculitis and cerebral abscess in one child each. In 40/57 children, long-term outcome (18.9 ± 20.2 months after discharge) could be assessed: 1 child (2.5%) died 9 months after hospital discharge, 11 children (27.5%) had one or two long-term sequelae and 28 children (70.0%) had no sequelae. Long-term sequelae included motor impairment in three children (7.5%), hearing impairment in nine children (22.5%) and other deficits in two children (5.0%).

CONCLUSION: Our study confirms that pneumococcal meningitis causes high mortality and severe long-term sequelae. On long-term follow-up, we observed improvements of motor impairment, but not of hearing impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-878
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Austria/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal/epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae/isolation & purification
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Long-term outcome
  • Children
  • Long-term sequelae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health


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