Association between reported aetiology of central nervous system infections and the speciality of study investigators-a bias compartmental syndrome?
Bharucha T., Vickers S., Ming D., Lee SJ., Dubot-Pérès A., de Lamballerie X., Newton PN.
Background: Conventional descriptions of central nervous system (CNS) infections are variably categorized into clinical syndromes for patient investigation, management and research. Aetiologies of the most commonly recognized syndromes, encephalitis and meningitis, tend to be attributed predominantly to viruses and bacteria, respectively. Methods: A systematic review was performed of aetiological studies of CNS syndromes and data extracted on reported author specialities. Results: The analysis identified an association between the author's speciality and the CNS syndrome studied, with a tendency for virologists to study encephalitis and microbiologists to study meningitis. Conclusions: We suggest there is bias in study design. Stronger multidisciplinary collaboration in CNS infection research is needed.