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J Clin Microbiol. 2006 Jan;44(1):222-4.

Clonal spread of serogroup W135 meningococcal disease in Turkey.

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  • 1Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey.


Six cases of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 meningococcal infection have been reported in Turkey since 2003. Seven isolates recovered from four meningococcal meningitis patients and two asymptomatic carriers produced three distinct pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. Multilocus sequence typing and antigen gene sequencing showed that five isolates were indistinguishable from ST-11 (ET-37) serogroup W135 meningococci, which were first isolated in Saudi Arabia and were responsible for the worldwide outbreak among Hajj pilgrims and their contacts in 2000. The remaining two isolates, which had related PFGE patterns, differed from each other at only one of the genetic loci characterized but were not related to the ST-11 clonal complex. None of the six individuals recalled contact with a pilgrim or had traveled on the Hajj. These six individuals exhibited no time or place relationships to each other, except for the two asymptomatic carriers, who were soldiers and served in the same military unit. These data demonstrate that serogroup W135 meningococci with different genotypes, including the Hajj epidemic strain, are endemic in Turkey.

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