During the period between 1982 and 1987, 16 cases of meningitis due to Staphylococcus aureus were diagnosed. Nine patients (56%) had undergone a previous neurosurgical operation and 5 of them were carriers of a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunt. Seven patients (44%) had spontaneous meningitis. Fever and meningeal signs were the most common clinical findings. 50% of patients were comatose. The Gram stain of CSF showed Gram positive cocci in 7 cases. Blood cultures were positive in all patients with spontaneous meningitis and negative in the neurosurgical group. Overall mortality rate was 37.5%, and it was lower in the neurosurgical group than in the spontaneous meningitis. Other factors associated with a poor outcome were advanced age, bacteremia and septic shock.