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Blaser, Cornelia; Klein, Matthias; Grandgirard, Denis; Wittwer, Matthias; Peltola, Heikki; Weigand, Michael; Koedel, Uwe; Leib, Stephen L. (2010): Adjuvant glycerol is not beneficial in experimental pneumococcal meningitis. In: BMC Infectious Diseases 10:84


Background: Bacterial meningitis in children causes high rates of mortality and morbidity. In a recent clinical trial, oral glycerol significantly reduced severe neurological sequelae in paediatric meningitis caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, and a tendency towards a benefit of adjunctive glycerol was seen in pneumococcal meningitis. Methods: Here we examined the effects of glycerol in pneumococcal meningitis of infant rats and adult mice. All animals received ceftriaxone, and glycerol or placebo. Brain damage, hearing loss, and inflammatory parameters were assessed. Results: Clinically and by histopathology, animals treated with glycerol or placebo did not differ. While both groups showed equally high levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 at 24 h after infection, a significant difference in favour of glycerol was observed at 40 h after infection. However, this difference in matrix metalloproteinase-9 in late disease did not result in an improvement of histopathologic parameters. Conclusion: No benefit of adjunctive glycerol was found in these models of pneumococcal meningitis.