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October 27, 1978

Counterimmunoelectrophoresis and Bacterial Meningitis

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital Columbus, Ohio

JAMA. 1978;240(18):1954-1955. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290180028013

To the Editor.—  We read with interest both letters concerning counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIE) and bacterial meningitis by Denis et al (238:1248, 1977) and Eckfeldt et al (239:615, 1978). We thought it would be helpful to state our own findings. We believe that CIE is a useful, specific, rapid diagnostic test in a pediatric hospital. We would also like to emphasize the value of including serum and urine in CIE studies on meningitis to increase the sensitivity of the test.From August 1976 through May 1978, we ran CIE on 284 clinical specimens. Of these, 181 cases were negative on CIE and cultures and were subsequently found to have no bacterial infection or infections due to causes other than the antigens we were testing for, namely, Haemophilus influenzae, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, or group B streptococci. In all of these specimens we ran across no crossreactions or false-positives.Table 1 summarizes our