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J Infect Dis. 2002 Jul 1;186(1):40-8. Epub 2002 Jun 7.

Genotype-specific carriage of Neisseria meningitidis in Georgia counties with hyper- and hyposporadic rates of meningococcal disease.

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Division of Public Health, Georgia Public Health Laboratory, Georgia Department of Human Resources, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA.


Carriage of Neisseria meningitidis in a Georgia county with hypersporadic incidence of meningococcal disease ("hypersporadic county") and in a county with no cases of meningococcal disease was determined by a cross-sectional pharyngeal culture study of high school students. Among 2730 students from whom culture samples were obtained, meningococcal carriage was 7.7% (140/1818) in the hypersporadic county and 6.1% (56/912) in the comparison county. Carriage rates by serogroup and genetic type (i.e., electrophoretic type [ET]) did not differ significantly between counties, but apartment or mobile home residency was a risk factor for carriage in the hypersporadic county. Although most cases of meningococcal disease in the hypersporadic county were caused by members of the serogroup C ET-37 clonal group, no ET-37 meningococcal isolates were recovered from carriers in this county. However, 38% of all meningococcal isolates recovered from carriers in both counties were members of the serogroup Y ET-508 clonal group, an emerging cause of meningococcal disease in Georgia and throughout the United States during 1996-2001. Shifts in carriage and transmission of meningococcal strains with different pathogenic potential are important determinants of meningococcal disease incidence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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