Current Infectious Disease Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 374–379 | Cite as

Meningococcal Disease: Shifting Epidemiology and Genetic Mechanisms That May Contribute to Serogroup C Virulence

  • Jessica R. MacNeil
  • Jennifer D. Thomas
  • Amanda C. Cohn
Article

Abstract

During the past decade, monovalent serogroup C and quadrivalent (serogroups A, C, W135, Y) meningococcal vaccination programs have been introduced in multiple industrialized countries. Many of these programs have been successful in reducing the burden of disease due to vaccine-preventable serogroups of Neisseria meningitidis in target age groups. As a result, disease burden in these countries has decreased and is primarily serogroup B, which is not vaccine preventable. Despite the success of these programs, meningococcal disease continues to occur and there is always concern that serogroup C organisms will adapt their virulence mechanisms to escape pressure from vaccination. This review highlights the current epidemiology of meningococcal disease in Europe and United States, as well as genetic mechanisms that may affect virulence of serogroup C strains and effectiveness of new vaccines.

Keywords

Neisseria meningitidis Meningitis Vaccine Virulence Epidemiology Genetics Serogroup C Serogroup B Monovalent vaccine Quadrivalent vaccine Serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccination MenC Vaccination program Immunization 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica R. MacNeil
    • 1
  • Jennifer D. Thomas
    • 2
  • Amanda C. Cohn
    • 1
  1. 1.Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial DiseasesNational Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial DiseasesNational Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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