Table of Contents
Pathology Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 583139, 12 pages
Research Article

Microbiological Spectrum of Brain Abscess at a Tertiary Care Hospital in South India: 24-Year Data and Review

1Department of Microbiology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Panjagutta, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500082, India
2Department of Neurosurgery, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Panjagutta, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500082, India

Received 24 November 2010; Accepted 15 September 2011

Academic Editor: S. K. Shankar

Copyright © 2011 V. Lakshmi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intracranial abscesses are life-threatening infections that pose a diagnostic challenge not only to the neurosurgeon but also to the microbiologists. Detailed studies documenting the spectrum of infecting agents involved in brain abscesses are limited from India. Materials and Methods. This is a retrospective analysis of 352 samples from 1987 to 2010 analyzed at a tertiary care hospital in South India from 1987 to 2010, to document the changing trends with time. Results. The age of the patients ranged from 2 to 80 years, a larger number of males being affected. Otogenic infections were the most common cause while cryptogenic abscesses were 20%. Gram stain and culture positivity were 78% each. Gram-positive and negative facultative aerobes and obligate anaerobes were also on the rise. Unusual organisms, like Burkholderia pseudomallei, Salmonella typhi, Nocardia species, Cladosporium bantiana, Fonsecaea pedrosoi, Entamoeba histolytica, and Acanthamoeba were also isolated and/or detected from the brain abscesses aspirate or resected tissue. Summary. New and emerging pathogens associated with brain abscess, especially in immunosuppressed individuals, have renewed the necessity of an early detection, and it will be of great value in appropriate management of patients with brain abscess.