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J Clin Microbiol. Nov 1991; 29(11): 2489–2493.
PMCID: PMC270360

Emergence of a virulent clone of Neisseria meningitidis serotype 2a that is associated with meningococcal group C disease in Canada.


Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis was used to characterize 378 isolates of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C recovered during a period of an increase in group C meningococcal disease in Canada. Thirty-four enzyme electrophoretic types were found among the isolates, which were predominantly (96.0%) serotype 2a. One clone (ET 15), characterized by a rarely occurring allele for the enzyme fumarase, was responsible for a focal outbreak in Ontario followed by the spread of group C disease across the province. This clone, which occurred infrequently among strains isolated in 1986, accounted for over 65% of group C strains associated with meningococcal disease in Canada in 1990.

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