Treatment for bacterial causes
Acute bacterial and fungal meningitis and encephalitis are considered medical emergencies. Bacterial infections are frequently treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic as soon as, or even before, the cause is positively identified. This therapy may then need to be modified once culture results identify the specific bacteria and its susceptibility to antimicrobial agents. Antibiotics chosen must be able to pass through the blood-brain barrier and reach sufficient concentration in the CSF . They may be administered intravenously and reach high levels in the blood. Patients are monitored for signs of drug toxicity and for organ function. Depending on the type of bacteria and the state of the patient's immune system , treatment may need to be continued for weeks, months, or even years.