Bacterial Meningitis: Transmission, Symptoms & Treatments

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Bacterial Pneumonia: Causes, Signs & Treatments

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 A Bad Hangover
  • 0:30 Bacterial Meningitis
  • 1:50 Transmission and…
  • 2:52 Diagnosis and Treatment
  • 4:09 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed Audio mode
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson will discuss something known as bacterial meningitis. We'll talk about the causes of this condition, ways by which you can get it, diagnosis and treatments strategies, as well as the symptoms and signs associated with bacterial meningitis.

A Bad Hangover

If I told you that your friend was experiencing confusion, irritability, vomiting, and a headache, you might think that they're suffering from a hangover. However, it may not be a hangover at all. While alcohol is dangerous for our body for a wide variety of reasons, someone experiencing the signs and symptoms I just described may be suffering from something far more deadly, as this lesson will explore.

Bacterial Meningitis

Let's pretend you and some of your friends took a trip to Las Vegas to party for a week or so. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime that even Hollywood couldn't dream up.

You notice that some of your friends are definitely experiencing symptoms of a hangover from all of the partying you did last night, but another friend isn't just irritable, confused, and suffering from a massive headache. No, he is experiencing some other signs associated with something known as bacterial meningitis. This is a condition that results in the inflammation of the protective membranes that envelop the brain and spinal cord due to a bacterial cause.

These signs and symptoms also include:

  • A stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Coma

and many others.

The reason many of these symptoms occur is because the inflammatory response that tries to kill these invasive bacteria produces a lot of swelling and compression of nerves, leading to impaired vision or hearing as well as seizures. In addition, the inflammatory process ends up harming everything in its path, not just bacteria. This causes the inadvertent destruction of some of our own body's cells, which causes even more serious signs and symptoms associated with meningitis.

Transmission and Causes of Bacterial Meningitis

Even though bacterial meningitis affects, for the most part, the brain, it has a very important respiratory component as well. You see, when you guys were out clubbing, dancing, and raving last night in a stuffy nightclub, something really sinister was lurking in the smoke obscuring the dance floor.

In that smoky air, meningitis-causing bacteria were floating around, some of which may have been inhaled by your poor friend after a sick person dancing next to him sneezed some of them out. However, that's not the only way to transmit this condition.

Your friend was also making out with a complete stranger on the dance floor despite their protests about your friend's terrible beard, creepy sunglasses, and awful body odor. By kissing a complete stranger, he exposed himself to even more meningitis-causing bacteria.

Some of the bacteria that can cause bacterial meningitis include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Listeria monocytogenes

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account