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J Korean Med Sci. 2003 Apr;18(2):163-6.

Meningococcal disease in the republic of Korea army: incidence and serogroups determined by PCR.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Asan Medical Center, Poongnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea.


This study was performed to determine the incidence and serogroups of meningococcal disease in the Korean Army. From August 2000 to July 2001, we identified prospective cases in the Korean Army. Meningococcal disease was confirmed by isolation of Neisseria meningitidis or detection of its antigen by latex agglutination from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or blood. Polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) were performed in the crgA gene to identify N. meningitidis regardless of its serogroup, and then in orf-2 (serogroup A) and siaD (serogroups B, C, Y, and W135) respectively for serogroup prediction. During the study period, twelve patients (four meningitis and eight septicaemia) were identified. The annual incidence was 2.2 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval, 1.3-3.8) among 550,000 private soldiers. Latex agglutinations were positive to A/C/Y/W135 polyvalent latex, but not to B latex in all patients. PCRs of crgA gene were positive in ten patients, whose samples (2 isolates from CSF, 2 CSFs, and 6 sera) were stored. In PCRs for serogroup prediction, one isolate was serogroup A, and one isolate and two sera were serogroup C. The need for meningococcal vaccination would be considered in the Korean Army through the cost-benefit analysis based on the result of this study.

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