This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
To evaluate the efficacy of adjuvant corticosteroids in reducing death and neurodevelopmental sequelae in neonates with bacterial meningitis.
We will perform subgroup analyses to address:
the efficacy of adjuvant corticosteroids in infants with gestational age < 37 weeks and those ≥ 37 weeks;
the efficacy of corticosteroids as an adjuvant treatment in different antibiotic classes (comparison will be made for penicillins with or without aminoglycosides versus cephalosporins with or without aminoglycosides);
the efficacy of adjuvant corticosteroids based on causative bacterial agent (comparison will be made for GBS and other Gram-positive bacteria versus Gram-negative bacteria);
impact of the time of initiation of adjunctive corticosteroid treatment (comparison will be made for pre-antibiotic (up to one hour prior to the commencement of antibiotics) and post-antibiotic (simultaneously with antibiotics or after the commencement of antibiotics);
impact of the duration of adjunctive corticosteroid treatment on the outcome of neonatal bacterial meningitis (comparison will be made for duration less than four days versus four days or more);
impact of corticosteroids on the outcomes for studies conducted in developed countries versus developing countries;
impact of corticosteroids on the outcomes among infants with confirmed meningitis (positive CSF culture or PCR) versus suspect meningitis (deranged cellular or chemical constituents of the CSF without positive CSF culture or PCR).