Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Infect Dev Ctries. 2011 May 28;5(5):318-23.

Epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the Panamanian pediatric population, 1998-2008.

Author information

  • 1Instituto Conmemorativo Gorgas de Estudios de la Salud, Panama.



Worldwide public health authorities report 500,000 cases of invasive meningococcal disease with 50,000 deaths per year and 10-15% of sequelae in people affected. This study describes the epidemiology, microbiology, and clinical presentation of this disease in the Panamanian pediatric population.


 The discharge of patients with a meningococcal invasive disease diagnosis was reviewed in the statistical database and archives of the Hospital del Niño.


A total of 32 discharges with a meningococcal disease diagnosis were reported during the study period (1998-2008).  Ninety-one percent (n/N = 29/32) were confirmed as meningitis. The mean age of patients was 4.1 ± 4.6 years. The incidence in the period of the study was 0.25/100,000. Infants younger than one year old presented the highest incidence rate and number of cases. Four deaths were reported, three of which occurred in the group of 10-14 years and one in the group of 1-4 years. The overall fatality rate was 12.5%. The serogroup of the causative agent, Neisseria meningitidis, was documented in 30 of the 32 cases, with serogroup B the most frequent (66.7%). Ninety-percent (18/20) of serogroup B were isolated in the first five years of study. Serogroup C was identified in 8 of the 12 cases during the period 2004-2008.


The present study showed a change in the epidemiological circulation pattern from serogroup B to serogroup C during the study period. Such epidemiological surveillance data is important in the implementation of preventive measures such as vaccination.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries
    Loading ...
    Support Center