Postencephalitic Syndrome with Immune-Mediated Psychosis in an Adult with Meningitis Due to Streptococcus Pneumoniae: A Case Report

Bibiana Briceno, Michael Ariza-Varon, Nicole Pinzón, Juan Sebastian Castro, Laura Oviedo

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Introduction A first psychotic episode may be related to neurological diseases, especially encephalitis of infectious or autoimmune origin. It is remarkable that an immune-mediated encephalitis triggered by a confirmed subacute bacterial meningitis is documented, and this is the case we will present. Clinical Case A 22-year-old woman with no previous medical history, immunocompetent, with three months of behavioral, affective and cognitive symptoms with subsequent compromise of sensory perception and psychosis. Examination of cerebrospinal fluid showed inflammatory signs with positive FilmArray© for Streptococcus pneumoniae. She received anti-psychotic and antibiotic treatment for 2 weeks without clinical improvement. Postencephalitic syndrome with immune-mediated psychosis was considered as a diagnosis, and immunosuppressive management with corticosteroid and plasmapheresis was initiated with complete resolution of symptoms. After one year of follow-up no neurological relapse has been identified. Discussion Encephalitis is a neurological syndrome due to brain parenchymal damage that can result in psychiatric symptoms including psychosis and behavioral changes. Its causes are usually infectious (usually viral) or autoimmune (Anti NMDA, AMPA, LGI1 or others). A psychiatric condition in bacterial meningitis without improvement with antibiotic treatment is remarkable, its presence should suggest an immune-mediated post-infectious syndrome that may respond to the use of immunomodulators even in the absence of identification of autoimmune encephalitis-associated antibodies. No similar cases have been reported in the literature. Conclusion Immune-mediated psychosis may be a manifestation of post-encephalitic syndrome associated with bacterial meningitis and its treatment with immunosuppressants may offer benefit in cases where the use of antipsychotics and antibiotics shows no improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRochester, NY
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune diseases of the nervous system
  • Central Nervous System infections
  • Meningitis
  • Meningoencephalitis
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae


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