Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Nov 1;37(9):1183-8. Epub 2003 Oct 3.

Neisseria meningitidis carriage during an outbreak of serogroup C disease.

Author information

Communicable Disease Epidemiology, University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


During 2001, an outbreak of serogroup C meningococcal disease led to immunization of individuals aged 13-29 years in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. This study addresses the distribution of Neisseria meningitidis carriage in this population and the implications of that distribution for the targeting of the immunization campaign. Pharyngeal swabs were obtained at immunization from 2004 people. Colonies were identified and serogrouped using standard agglutination methods and by PCR. Isolates were characterized using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The prevalence of N. meningitidis carriage was 153 carriers per 2004 subjects (7.6%; 95% confidence interval, 6.5%-8.9%). Only 6 (4%) of the isolates from these carriers were found to be serogroup C by agglutination or PCR testing, and all of these were from individuals within the age group targeted for immunization. Only 1 of these 6 isolates was found to be identical to the outbreak strain by PFGE. The observation that a virulent strain is not circulating widely suggests the possibility of low background immunity in the population at risk and emphasizes the importance of vaccination in controlling epidemic group C meningococcal disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center