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Can J Microbiol. 2001 Apr;47(4):283-9.

The panmictic nature of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B during a period of endemic disease in Canada.

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Canadian Science Center for Human and Animal Health, Population and Public Health Branch, Winnipeg, MB.


Three hundred and one (301) strains of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B, isolated from patients with meningococcal disease during the years 1994-1996, were subjected to multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, serotyping, and serosubtyping. Based on the analyses of 14 enzyme loci, 177 electrophoretic types (ETs) were identified. Of these, 136 were represented by single isolates and 41 were represented by multiple isolates (range 2-31). The mean genetic diversity for isolates was 0.444 and for ETs was 0.440. The index of association (I(A)) between loci was 0.530 +/- 0.08 for isolates and 0.256 +/- 0.10 for ETs. Cluster analysis revealed the presence of 39 lineages each represented by a single ET or clusters of ETs. The most common serotypes were 4, 15, and 14 and accounted for 84 (28.0%), 53 (17.6%), and 32 (10.6%) of the isolates, respectively, and were dispersed amongst 46 ETs (1-122), 35 ETs (3-165), and 26 ETs (18-76), respectively. The 109 (36.6%) nontypable (NT) isolates were amongst 74 ETs (6-177). The mean genetic diversity for serotypes 4, 15, and 14 and NT isolates was 0.368, 0.371, 0.343, and 0.442, respectively, and for ETs was 0.363, 0.354, 0.397, and 0.440, respectively. Combinations of serotypes and serosubtypes (number of isolates) that occurred most frequently were 4:P1.14 (17), 14:P1.16 (16), NT:P1.16 (16), 15:P1.16 (13), and NT:P1.13 (13). The majority of group B disease in Canada during 1994-1996 was caused by meningococci of considerable genetic diversity, and reflects a situation of endemic disease. However, the results also indicate that organisms belonging to the ET-5 complex, which has been responsible for outbreaks of group B disease globally for several decades, have been introduced into the country.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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