The article presents the prevalence of Neisseria meningitidis carriage with the identification of sero- and genogroups in professional soldiers serving in the Polish Armed Forces. A total of 1246 soldiers from the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów, Poland were examined in the period January-February 2016. Microbiological tests were performed using standard methods (culture, incubation, microscopy, biochemical, and automated identification with VITEK cards). Neisseria meningitidis isolates from carriers were subjected to a slide agglutination test for the identification of serogroups, next bacterial DNA was isolated and genogroups were identified based on the results of PCR. Of the 1246 soldiers tested, 65 were found to be carriers of N. meningitidis. Serogroups of 36 isolates and genogroups of 56 meningococcal isolates were determined. The genogrouping identified the isolates as belonging to group B (n = 34; 52.3 %), E29 (n = 8; 12.3 %), C (n = 6; 9.2 %), Y (n = 6; 9.2 %), and W (n = 2; 3.1 %). The primers which were used did not make it possible to determine the genogroup of nine isolates. In conclusion, the overall carrier rate of N. meningitidis amounted to 5.2 %, with the serogroup B being predominant, which is similar to that reported in the general population in Poland and Central Europe.
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We are grateful to the Commander of the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade in Świętoszów for permission to carry out this study and to the soldiers of this military unit for their participation in examination. The paper was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and High Education, grant no. 326/2015.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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