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June 1965

Meningitis in Adults Caused by Escherichia coli 04 and 075

Author Affiliations


From the departments of preventive medicine, medicine, and microbiology, University of Virginia, School of Medicine. Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Medicine (Dr. Kunin); Assistant Resident in Medicine (Dr. Bender); Associate Professor of Microbiology (Dr. Russell).

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(6):652-658. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03860180024004

ESCHERICHIA COLI rarely produces purulent meningitis in man. Most cares reported in the literature are associated either with overwhelming E coli infections in infants and young children, or with congenital defects in the structures surrounding the spinal cord.1-7 In adults this infection is usually secondary to trauma to the central nervous system (CNS).8-10 Accordingly, the observation of two cases of E coli meningitis, one in a diabetic woman occurring in the setting of diarrhea and a urinary-tract infection, and the other in a woman with an asymptomatic urinary-tract infection, offered the opportunity to assess the possible responsible factors, and to review current concepts of the pathogenesis of E coli infections. Particular attention will be given to serogrouping of E coli, so-called pathogenic E coli, antibody response to infection, and the role of serum complement and diabetes. A review of the experience with E coli meningitis at the University