Different Types of Meningitis | Main Causes of Meningitis

What is Meningitis Disease?

Meningitis is a disease that is caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid (Cerebro Spinal Fluid) surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This type of disease can be life-threatening due to the inflammation’s proximity to the spinal cord and brain; therefore, the condition is classified as a medical emergency.

Types and causes of meningitis
Fig: Types and causes of meningitis

It is the covering membranes of the brain and spinal cord. Three layers of meninges from outer to inner are-

  1. Dura mater (most outer layer),
  2. Arachnoid mater (middle layer),
  3. Pia mater (intimately covers the brain).

 CSF (Cerebro Spinal Fluid): 

It is a clear, colorless fluid that is found in the ventricles of the brain and subarachnoid space (between the Arachnoid mater and the Pia mater) of the brain and spinal cord.

 Classification of Meningitis:

According to various categories, different types of meningitis are as follows:

1. According to Micro-organism:

It includes-

  • Pyogenic or bacterial,
  • Tuberculous,
  • Viral,
  • Fungal.

2. According to Duration:

It includes-

  • Acute,
  • Chronic.

3. According to Pus Formation:

It includes-

  • Pyogenic or bacterial (forms pus),
  • Aseptic (Not form pus): Tubercular, Viral, Fungal, parasite,
  • Non-infective (Sterile): Malignant disease eg. Leukemia, lung cancer, breast cancer, etc., and Inflammatory disease eg. SLE, Sarcoidosis.

Different Causes of Meningitis:

All the causes of meningitis have mentioned below:

A. Infective Causes of Meningitis:

1. Bacterial Causes: 

Age of Onset
Common Causes
and Neonate
1. Gram-negative bacilli (Escherichia coli, Proteus etc.),
2. Group B streptococci, Listeria monocytogenes.
Pre-School Children (6 months to 4 years)
1. Haemophilus influenza,
2. Streptococcus pneumonia,
3. Neisseria meningitides,
4. Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Children and adult
1. Neisseria meningitides,
2. Streptococcus pneumonia,
3. Listeria monocytogenes,
4. Staphylococcus aureus ( skull fracture).

2. Viral Causes:

It includes-

  • Enteroviruses (echo, Coxsackie, polio),
  • Mumps,
  • Influenza,
  • Varicella-zoster,
  • Measles,
  • HIV,
  • Herpes simplex.

3. Protozoa and Parasites:

It includes-

  • Toxoplasma,
  • Amoeba,
  • Cysticercus,
  • Hydatid,
  • Plasmodium.

4. Fungal Causes:

It includes-

  • Cryptococcus,
  • Histoplasma,
  • Candida (yeasts),
  • Coccidiosis.

B. Non-infective (Sterile):

1. Malignant disease:

It includes-

  • Leukemia,
  • Lymphoma,
  • Breast cancer,
  • Bronchial cancer.

2. Inflammatory Disease (Maybe recurrent):

It includes-

  • Sarcoidosis,
  • SLE,
  • Behcet’s disease.

Author of This Article-
Shahinur Begum
Asst. Editor of Nursing Exercise
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Email: [email protected]

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