Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Brief Clinical Note

A case of listeria meningitis showed high levels of adenosine deaminase in cerebrospinal fluid

Yoshiharu Nakae, M.D.1)2) and Yoshiyuki Kuroiwa, M.D.3)

1)Department of Neurology, Yokohama Minami Kyosai Hospital
2)Department of Neurology, Hiratsuka Kyosai Hospital
3)Departments of Neurology & Stroke Medicine, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine

An 83-year-old woman developed high fever and headache for four days. She had disturbance of consciousness and was admitted to our hospital. A lumbar puncture was performed and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis revealed a white blood cell count of 268/mm3 and culture became positive for Listeria monocytogenes. Six days after admission, the adenosine deaminase (ADA) level in CSF markedly elevated (43.3 IU/L) with pleocytosis, but a negative PCR test for tuberculosis in CSF, sputum, gastric fluid. She recovered by antibiotics for 45 days and ADA level in CSF was normalized. She was diagnosed as listeria meningitis. High levels of ADA in CSF have high sensitivity and high specificity for tuberculous meningitis, but there are some reports that high ADA levels in CSF in other meningitis. The main biological role of ADA is related to proliferation and differentiation of lymphocytes, and specific activity of this enzyme is slightly higher in T-lymphocytes than in B-lymphocytes. Protective immunity to Listeria monocytogenes is exclusively exhibited by T-lymphocytes. We consider that increased ADA levels in listeria meningitis associated with elevation of T-lymphocytes in CSF. This report suggests that listeria meningitis must be included in the differential diagnosis of high levels of ADA in CSF.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (484K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 49: 590|593, 2009)
key words: listeria meningitis, Listeria monocytogenes, adenosine deaminase (ADA), tuberculous meningitis, T-lymphocytes

(Received: 15-Dec-08)