Clinicians vary widely in meningitis testing, prescription practices
Many clinicians do not test for susceptibility to penicillin, and therapeutic practices diverge often between adult and pediatric infectious disease physicians, according to CDC study results published online.
Andrew Terranella, MD, MPH, and other CDC researchers looked at responses from an online survey of pediatric and adult clinicians about meningococcal disease management. Of the 650 respondents, there was wide variability about a definitive therapy for meningococcal disease; with pediatric infectious disease clinicians more likely to use this medication over clinicians who primarily treat adult patients.
The researchers said more than two-thirds of clinicians reported routinely performing susceptibility testing for Neisseria meningitidis, and there were differences in chemoprophylaxis practices.
The researchers also said because N. meningitidis remains a “serious cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis in children and young adults, with a case fatality rate of 10%,” it is important to consider uniform methods of diagnosis and treatment, both of which remain in debate.
“Consideration of these practice differences will be important when revising and communicating management guidelines,” Terranella and colleagues concluded. “Efforts to harmonize pediatric and adult practice guidelines should consider these practice differences.”
Disclosure: Dr. Terranella reports no relevant financial disclosures.