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Revista Peruana de Medicina Experimental y Salud Publica

Print version ISSN 1726-4634


GUILLEN-PINTO, Daniel et al. Neonatal meningitis: a multicenter study in Lima, Peru. Rev. perú. med. exp. salud publica [online]. 2020, vol.37, n.2, pp.210-219. ISSN 1726-4634.


To determine the incidence and the clinical, bacteriological and cerebrospinal fluid characteristics of neonatal meningitis in Lima hospitals.

Materials and methods:

An observational, multicenter study was conducted in six hospitals in the city of Lima during 1 year of epidemiological surveillance.


The cumulative hospital incidence was 1.4 cases per 1000 live births. A total of 53 cases of neonatal meningitis were included, 34% (18/53) were early and 66% (35/53) late. The associated maternal factors were meconium-stained amniotic fluid and urinary tract infection. Insufficient prenatal check-ups were found in 58.8% (30/51). The most associated neonatal factor was sepsis. The main symptoms were fever, irritability, hypoactivity and respiratory distress. Pleocytosis in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was significant, without predominance of polymorphonuclear lymphocytes (PMN), hypoglycorrhagia and proteinorrhagia. The most frequent pathogens isolated were Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes.


The hospital incidence of neonatal meningitis was 1.4 per 1000 live births, being ten times higher in preterm infants. Breathing difficulty was the most frequent symptom in the early stage, while fever and irritability in the late stage. CSF showed pleocytosis without predominance of PMN. The most frequent germs were Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes. Ventriculitis and hydrocephalus were the most common neurological complications.

Keywords : Meningitis; Newborn; Premature; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Peru.

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