What microbe is responsible for bacterial meningitis?
Several strains of bacteria can cause acute bacterial meningitis, most commonly: Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). This bacterium is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in infants, young children and adults in the United States. It more commonly causes pneumonia or ear or sinus infections.
How does meningitis attach to host cells?
The initial interaction between the meningococcus and the host cell is mediated through the meningococcal type IV pilus. The meningococcus then retracts the pilus bringing the bacterium into close contact with the host cell surface .
What are the virulence factors of bacterial meningitis?
These include, among others, adhesins and internalins, pore-forming toxins, and factors involved in intracellular movement as well as cell-to cell spread and are summarized in Figure 2. Multiple virulence factors are involved in the different steps of pathogenesis during bacterial meningitis.
How does Neisseria meningitidis infect the host?
Neisseria meningitidis expresses a wide range of structures and molecules that facilitate adhesion. These structures also allow the bacterium to hijack host-cell receptors and signalling pathways resulting in penetration and/or disruption of cellular barriers, leading to disease progression.
What causes spinal meningitis?
Spinal meningitis is a potentially deadly infection of the meninges, the protective tissue covering the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by specific viruses, bacteria, or fungi that gets transmitted from person to person by sneezing, talking, kissing, or sharing food or drinks.
What does bacterial meningitis do to cells?
Meningitis is an infection of the membranes (meninges) that protect the spinal cord and brain. When the membranes become infected, they swell and press on the spinal cord or brain. This can cause life-threatening problems. Meningitis symptoms strike suddenly and worsen quickly.
How does meningitis affect cells?
In very bad cases, meningitis injures or destroys nerve cells and causes brain damage. This is due to the raised pressure on your brain and the toxic effect of the bacterial poisons on your brain cells, as well as reduced blood supply and formation of blood clots in blood vessels of the brain.
What is the pathogenesis of meningitis?
The pathogenesis and pathophysiology of bacterial meningitis involve a complex interplay between virulence factors of the pathogens and the host immune response [4,5]. Much of the damage from this infection is believed to result from cytokines released within the CSF as the host mounts an inflammatory response.
How does Neisseria meningitidis cause meningitis?
Meningococcal meningitis evolves when the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis (N. meningitidis) progresses from initial adherence to the nasopharyngeal (nose and throat) mucosa to invasion of the deeper mucosal layers (the submucosa). These bacteria rapidly multiply, and can lead to a mild (subclinical) infection.