Microbiologic aspects of childhood bacterial meningitis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Phoba, Marie-France Ndedi (PhD Student)
  • Jacobs, Jan (Promotor)
  • Van Geet, Christel (Promotor)
  • Muyembe, Jean-Jacques (Promotor)

Project Details


Childhood bacterial meningitis (CBM) is a serious disease, especially in Africa: up to one third of affected children die and up to half of the survivors suffer from neurologic sequelae. Despite its frequency, there are no reports available on the microbiological aspects of CBM in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The leading causes of CBM are the vaccine preventable pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria meningitidis, but in tropical settings, other pathogens such as the non-typhoid Salmonella species and Klebsiella pneumoniae account for up to 25% of causative organisms. There is much concern about the growing antimicrobial resistance among S. pneumoniae, Salmonella spp. and K. pneumoniae. In addition to the lack of microbiological facilities, there is a need for rapid diagnostic tests to assess the white blood cell count in cerebrospinal fluid as a tool in the differentiation between CBM and cerebral malaria. The present PhD proposal addresses the microbiological aspects of CBM as it will explore the spectrum and antimicrobial resistance patterns of traditional and tropical pathogens of CBM. In addition, capsule and serotype distributions will be assessed for S. pneumoniae and N. meningitidis isolates respectively, and epidemiological relationships within the Salmonella and Klebsiella isolates will be explored. In addition, simple and robust techniques for semi-quantification of white blood cells in cerebrospinal fluid and rapid antigen detection test for CBM pathogens will be evaluated.
Effective start/end date1/12/104/12/19

IWETO expertise domain

  • B780-tropical-medicine