How do infectious agents gain access to the subarachnoid space in meningitis?

Updated: Jul 16, 2019
  • Author: Rodrigo Hasbun, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Subsequently, hematogenous seeding into distant sites, including the CNS, occurs. The specific pathophysiologic mechanisms by which the infectious agents gain access to the subarachnoid space remain unclear. Once inside the CNS, the infectious agents likely survive because host defenses (eg, immunoglobulins, neutrophils, and complement components) appear to be limited in this body compartment. The presence and replication of infectious agents remain uncontrolled and incite the cascade of meningeal inflammation described above.


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