Pneumococcal Meningitis in a Child With Sickle Cell Anemia: A Case Report

Demetrio Kiriazopulos, Palmino Pedroni, Guya Occhi, Giovanna Sassi, Angela Corna, Franca Cieri, Eugenio Cipolletta, Marinetta Orobello, Mario Colombo


Children with sickle cell disease are mainly exposed to various infections, among which there is bacterial meningitis. We present a brief report of a pneumococcal meningitis, due to Streptococcus pneumoniae 33F, in a 3-year-old boy of African race with sickle cell anemia. He was vaccinated against Streptococcus pneumoniae with 13-valent vaccine, and he was also on antibiotic prophylaxis. The child has been successfully treated with cephalosporins for a complete duration of 6 weeks, while hospitalization lasted about 3 weeks. Ceftriaxone was replaced by cefotaxime to avoid risk of hemolysis, as we found in literature. During recovery, the little boy presented with osteomyelitis, so vancomycin was added to therapy with good results. Finally, neurosensorial deafness was found, thus the child was quickly directed to cochlear implant intervention. This case report revealed that sometimes pneumococcal vaccination and antibiotic prophylaxis are not enough to prevent pneumococcal meningitis in children with sickle cell disease. Moreover, we noticed that cefotaxime avoids autoimmune hemolysis, which may be fatal to anemic children, while vancomycin may help to prevent complications such as osteomyelitis.

Int J Clin Pediatr. 2015;4(2-3):168-170


Sickle cell anemia; Pneumococcal meningitis; Pneumococcal vaccine; Streptococcus pneumoniae 33F; Osteomyelitis; Autoimmune hemolysis

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