Treatment and prevention of community-acquired bacterial meningitis

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Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection that requires immediate treatment. Recommended empiric antimicrobial therapy is based upon the most likely pathogen, according to a patient’s age and immune status. Antimicrobial therapy should be modified after identification of the causative microorganism and results of susceptibility tests. Preventive measures include the use of vaccines that target Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae, as well as the use of chemoprophylaxis in selected situations. Pharmacists are in a key position to recommend appropriate antimicrobial therapy for the treatment and prophylaxis of bacterial meningitis and to ensure that patients are receiving recommended vaccinations.

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