Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Meningitis?

Michael Stuart Bronze, MD


May 06, 2021

Enteroviruses account for more than 85% of all cases of viral meningitis. They are part of the viral family Picornaviridae ("pico" for small, "rna" for ribonucleic acid) and include echoviruses, coxsackie viruses A and B, polioviruses, and the numbered enteroviruses. Nonpolio enteroviruses are common viruses; they are nearly as prevalent as rhinoviruses.

As the incidence of bacterial meningitis declines, viruses are an increasingly important cause of the disease. The overwhelming majority of meningitis cases are caused by serotypes of coxsackie virus and echovirus. Coxsackie virus B subgroups alone account for more than 60% of meningitis cases in children younger than age 3 months. Molecular diagnostics are useful not only in improving pathogen detection, but also in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and decreasing length of hospitalization.

Learn more about the etiology of meningitis.


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