Bacterial meningitis is a major source of illness and death in children and adults. A better knowledge of meningitis seroepidemiology is required for the selection and deployment of an efficient meningitis vaccine for the national vaccination program. In this study, the researchers wanted to investigate the attitudes, practices, and knowledge of healthcare workers in Turkey on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of bacterial meningitis, particularly pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis. 

A cross-sectional electronic survey with a nationwide convenience sample of 339 doctors (171 pediatric age specialists [PAS] and 168 adult patient specialists [APS]) in Turkey was employed for this study. A web-based questionnaire was created that included 28 questions regarding the definition, diagnosis, and treatment of bacterial infections, as well as knowledge and/or views about meningococcal vaccines. 

In the previous year, approximately 72.9% (n = 247) of responders followed a patient with meningitis. In 75–100% (27.5% PAS; 72% APS, p < .01) of instances of suspected meningitis, 49.5% of participants preferred computed cranial tomography (CCT) to lumbar puncture (LP). Furthermore, 27.1% of respondents reported using a regular steroid as an additional therapy  (19% PAS; 35% APS, p < .01). 72.5% of participants favored third-generation cephalosporins  (63.1% PAS; 82.1% APS, p < .05) for meningococcal meningitis. Approximately half of the participants chose a third-generation cephalosporin with glycopeptide (41.5% PAS; 58.9% APS, p < .05) for pneumococcal meningitis.  A 10–14 day course of antibiotics was favored by 88.4% of the sample for pneumococcal meningitis. Furthermore, 67% of the PAS group and 50% (p < .001) of the APS group agreed that a conjugated meningococcal vaccine should be included in the National Immunization Program. All youngsters, asplenia/splenectomy patients, immunodeficient patients, those planning to travel to endemic areas, including Hajj, and military personnel were the top five categories advised for regular vaccination.

Researchers discovered that there are heterogeneous approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial meningitis in this large convenient sample of physicians in Turkey, as well as differences in beliefs and attitudes between pediatricians and non-pediatricians, which may be due to differences in epidemiology and clinical presentation between children and adults. They saw adequate but unneeded prolonged antibiotic treatments for meningitis. The majority of participants said that children are a susceptible risk group that should be vaccinated and that meningococcal vaccines should be included in the National Immunization Program.