Many studies have investigated the potential of using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) interleukin-6 levels for the diagnosis of meningitis, but they have often provided contradictory results. This critical scientific literature review summarizes various methods used for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis, including IL-6 assays and the diagnostic power of CSF IL-6 as a biomarker of bacterial meningitis, between 2000 and 2016. An analysis of data from 9 studies involving 292 patients with bacterial meningitis revealed that sample sizes of patients with bacterial meningitis ranged from 9-85. Molecular methods were used to diagnose bacterial meningitis in only one of these studies. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used in 5 of these studies to determine CSF IL-6 levels. The reported area-under the curve (AUC) varied from 0.660-0.988 and in 6 out of 8 (75%) studies it was >0.937. The CSFIL-6 cut-off values for the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis ranged from 90 pg dL1 to 51.6 ng mL1 and the sensitivity and specificity of the assays ranged from 61.9-100 and 51-100%, respectively. Different methods were used to determine CSF IL-6 levels and the identification of bacterial meningitis was mostly based on culture without an associated molecular method. There is a need to standardize methods to ensure accurate diagnoses. Further studies that recruit a large number of patients with bacterial meningitis are required to validate these findings.