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Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Jun;13(6):847-54.

Molecular characteristics and epidemiology of meningococcal carriage, Burkina Faso, 2003.

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  • 1Agence de Médecine Préventive, Paris, France.


To describe Neisseria meningitidis strains in the African meningitis belt in 2003, we obtained 2,389 oropharyngeal swabs at 5 monthly visits a representative population sample (age range 4-29 years) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. A total of 152 carriage isolates were grouped, serotyped, and genotyped. Most isolates were NG:NT:NST sequence type (ST) 192 (63% of all N. meningitidis), followed by W135:2a:P1.5,2 of ST-11 (16%) and NG:15:P1.6 of ST-198 (12%). We also found ST-2881 (W135:NT:P1.5,2), ST-751 (X:NT:P1.5), and ST-4375 (Y:14:P1.5,2) but not serogroups A or C. Estimated average duration of carriage was 30 days (95% confidence interval 24-36 days). In the context of endemic group W135 and meningococcal A disease, we found substantial diversity in strains carried, including all strains currently involved in meningitis in this population, except for serogroup A. These findings show the need for large samples and a longitudinal design for N. meningitidis serogroup A carriage studies.

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