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Changes in Meningococcal Strains in the Era of a Serogroup C Vaccination Campaign: Trends and Evolution in Belgium during the Period 1997–2012

Abstract : Background Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is a major cause of bacterial meningitides and septicaemia. This study shows the results of the laboratory-based surveillance of IMD in Belgium over the period 1997–2012. Methods The results are based on microbiological and molecular laboratory surveillance of 2997 clinical isolates of N. meningitides received by the Belgian Meningococcal Reference Centre (BMRC) over the period 1997–2012. Results Serogroup B has always been a major cause of meningococcal disease in Belgium, with P3.4 as most frequent serotype till 2008, while an increase in non-serotypable strains has been observed in the last few years. Clonal complexes cc-41/44 and cc-269 are most frequently observed in serogroup B strains. In the late nineties, the incidence of serogroup C disease increased considerably and peaked in 2001, mainly associated with phenotypes C:2a:P1.5,2, C:2a:P1.5 and C:2a:P1.2 (ST-11/ET-37 clonal complex). The introduction of the meningococcal C conjugate vaccine has been followed by an 88% significant decrease in serogroup C disease from 2001 to 2004 nationally, yet sharper in Flanders (92%) compared to Wallonia (77%). Since 2008 a difference in incidence of serogroup C was observed in Flanders (0–0.1/100,000) versus Wallonia (0.1–0.3/100,000). Conclusion This study showed the change in epidemiology and strain population over a 16 years period spanning an exhaustive vaccination campaign and highlights the influence of regional vaccination policies with different cohorts sizes on short and long-term IMD incidences.
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Contributor : Jean-Marc Collard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 10:33:37 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 25, 2021 - 3:02:45 AM
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Wesley Mattheus, Germaine Hanquet, Jean-Marc Collard, Raymond Vanhoof, Sophie Bertrand. Changes in Meningococcal Strains in the Era of a Serogroup C Vaccination Campaign: Trends and Evolution in Belgium during the Period 1997–2012. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (10), pp.e0139615. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0139615⟩. ⟨pasteur-03238512⟩

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