Bacterial meningitis continues to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity, despite improved antimicrobial therapy. A key factor that contributes to this situation is the incomplete understanding of its pathogenesis. High-throughput methods (e.g., DNA microarray technology) can provide a holistic picture of the transcriptional events that underlie the host response to bacterial infections, including that during bacterial meningitis. Since 2001, several studies have been reported on the cellular host's responses to infections with Neisseria meningitidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae (the leading causes of bacterial meningitis) using DNA microarrays and have described numerous differentially expressed genes. The present review summarizes the main recent findings with gene expression analyses in the field of bacterial meningitis. Experiments that defined a common host response, as well as pathogen-specific host responses, will be discussed. This review will also outline the contributions of global gene analyses to our understanding of the pathophysiology of bacterial meningitis.