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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Community acquired bacterial meningitis in Cuba: a follow up of a decade

Antonio E Pérez*, Félix O Dickinson and Misladys Rodríguez

Author Affiliations

Department of Epidemiology, Institute "Pedro Kourí", Autopista Novia del Mediodía Km, 6 1/2 Municipio La Lisa, Ciudad Habana, 17100, Cuba

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:130  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-130

Published: 25 May 2010



Community acquired Bacterial Meningitis (BM) remains a serious threat to global health. Cuban surveillance system for BM allowed to characterize the main epidemiological features of this group of diseases, as well as to assess the association of some variables with mortality. Results of the BM surveillance in Cuba are presented in this paper.


A follow up of BM cases reported to the Institute "Pedro Kourí" by the National Bacterial Meningitis Surveillance System from 1998 to 2007 was completed. Incidence and case-fatality rate (CFR) were calculated. Univariate analysis and logistic regression were used to elucidate associated factors to mortality comparing death versus survival. Relative Risk (RR) or odds ratio and its 95% confidence interval (CI 95%) were estimated, using either a Chi-squared Test or Fisher's Exact Test as appropriate. A Holt-Winters model was used to assess seasonality.


4 798 cases of BM (4.3 per 100 000 population) were reported, with a decreasing trend of the incidence. Highest incidence was observed in infants and elderly. Overall CFR reached 24.1% affecting mostly older adults. S. pneumoniae (23.6%), N. meningitidis(8.2%) and H. influenzaetype b (6.0%) were the main causative agents. Males predominate in the incidence. Highest incidence and CFR were mainly clustered in the centre of the island. The univariate analysis did not show association between delayed medical consultation (RR = 1.20; CI = 1.07-1.35) or delayed hospitalization (RR = 0.98; CI = 0.87-1.11) and the fatal outcome. Logistic regression model showed association of categories housewife, pensioned, imprisoned, unemployed, S. peumoniae and other bacteria with mortality. Seasonality during September, January and March was observed.


The results of the National Program for Control and Prevention of the Neurological Infectious Syndrome evidenced a reduction of the BM incidence, but not the CFR. Multivariate analysis identified an association of mortality with some societal groups as well as with S. peumoniae.