Background: Meningitis is a clinical syndrome, characterized by the inflammation of the meninges, the protective tissues that envelop the brain and spinal cord. It can be due to bacterial, viraland even fungal pathogens.
Objectives: This study's aim is to investigate and observe the different aspects of meningitis in Lebanon between 2011 and 2019, specifically bacterial meningitis, and compare the incidence rates to different countries.
Materials and methods: This study is a descriptive epidemiological study. Data were collected from the epidemiological surveillance unit of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health. Incidence according to year, months, age groups, governorates and causative agents were analyzed in the 9-years period.
Results: With an incidence rate of approximately 7.56 cases a year per 100,000 individuals, bacterial meningitis accounted for most of the meningitis cases from 2011 to 2019. Four of the most commonly identified bacterial pathogens were studied: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well as other cases of meningitis with an identified or unidentified agent. The most common identifiable pathogen was S. pneumoniae (13.06%), followed by N. meningitidis (7.09%), and H. influenzae (0.56%).
Conclusion: The data provided by the MOPH was evaluated in order to get a better understanding of the disease and improve the plans of action towards its control and treatment. Efforts should be made to preserve and ameliorate the existing surveillance system, and to ensure that all cases of meningitis are reported and investigated in compliance with the WHO guidelines.