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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Jul;83(13):4927-31.

Intercontinental spread of a genetically distinctive complex of clones of Neisseria meningitidis causing epidemic disease.


Strains of Neisseria meningitidis responsible for an epidemic of meningococcal disease occurring in Norway since the mid-1970s and for recent increases in the incidence of disease in several other parts of Europe have been identified by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis as members of a distinctive group of 22 closely related clones (the ET-5 complex). Clones of this complex have also colonized South Africa, Chile, Cuba, and Florida, where they have been identified as the causative agents of recent outbreaks of meningococcal disease. There is strong circumstantial evidence that outbreaks of disease occurring in Miami in 1981 and 1982 were caused in large part by bacteria that reached Florida via human immigrants from Cuba.

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