Meningitis epidemics in Africa: a brief overview.

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Teyssou, R.; Muros-Le Rouzic, E.
Year of Publication: 2007
Journal: Vaccine
Volume: 25 Suppl 1
Pagination: A3-7
Date Published: 09/2007
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 0264-410X
Keywords: Africa, Disease Outbreaks, Geography, Humans, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Meningococcal Vaccines

Every year, meningococcal meningitis causes thousands of deaths within the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan African countries. Large epidemic waves occur with a periodicity of 5-12 years. The waves do correspond to molecular changes in the expression of capsular or subcapsular antigens, which allow the bug to spread in susceptible populations. Serogroup A remains the major killer, even if in 2002, serogroup W135 ST-11 emerged in Burkina Faso, causing an important epidemic. However, the surveillance in the following years has showed a decrease in the W135 incidence and a clear predominance of serogroup A. Moreover, a new serogroup A strain belonging to ST-2859 seems to emerge and does represent a new threat for the coming seasons. In a vaccine perspective, and especially in the context of the development of an A conjugate vaccine; it is the key to strengthen the surveillance systems and to include molecular epidemiology as a tool for monitoring the molecular evolution of Neisseria meningitidis in Africa.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.04.032
Alternate Journal: Vaccine
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