A tool that can rapidly identify bacterial meningitis has been developed by researchers at the UK’s Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Researchers analysed 385 confirmed cases of meningitis over a 12-month period and developed three criteria to distinguish the bacterial and viral variants of the disease.
The three criteria provide a score, which indicates the probability of a patient having bacterial meningitis.
Dr Toyin Ejidokun, a HPA consultant in communicable disease, said that although further research was needed to determine test’s accuracy, it offered the prospect of a rapid predictive tool that could the help clinical and public health management of suspected bacterial meningitis cases.
Bacterial meningitis is considered to be the most dangerous form of the disease, capable of killing a patient in a matter of hours.