ABSTRACT: We analyzed results of recent microbiologic surveillance of meningitis in northern Cameroon. During the 2007 and 2008 meningitis seasons, all 57 identified meningococcal isolates were serogroup W135. This situation might indicate that the area is experiencing a period between epidemic waves due to 2 different clones of serogroup A meningococci.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A serogroup A meningococcal polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (PsA-TT, MenAfriVac) was licensed in India in 2009, and pre-qualified by WHO in 2010, on the basis of its safety and immunogenicity. This vaccine is now being deployed across the African meningitis belt. We studied the effect of PsA-TT on meningococcal meningitis and carriage in Chad during a serogroup A meningococcal meningitis epidemic. METHODS:We obtained data for the incidence of meningitis before and after vaccination from national records between January, 2009, and June, 2012. In 2012, surveillance was enhanced in regions where vaccination with PsA-TT had been undertaken in 2011, and in one district where a reactive vaccination campaign in response to an outbreak of meningitis was undertaken. Meningococcal carriage was studied in an age-stratified sample of residents aged 1-29 years of a rural area roughly 13-15 and 2-4 months before and 4-6 months after vaccination. Meningococci obtained from cerebrospinal fluid or oropharyngeal swabs were characterised by conventional microbiological and molecular methods. FINDINGS:Roughly 1·8 million individuals aged 1-29 years received one dose of PsA-TT during a vaccination campaign in three regions of Chad in and around the capital N'Djamena during 10 days in December, 2011. The incidence of meningitis during the 2012 meningitis season in these three regions was 2·48 per 100,000 (57 cases in the 2·3 million population), whereas in regions without mass vaccination, incidence was 43·8 per 100,000 (3809 cases per 8·7 million population), a 94% difference in crude incidence (p<0·0001), and an incidence rate ratio of 0·096 (95% CI 0·046-0·198). Despite enhanced surveillance, no case of serogroup A meningococcal meningitis was reported in the three vaccinated regions. 32 serogroup A carriers were identified in 4278 age-stratified individuals (0·75%) living in a rural area near the capital 2-4 months before vaccination, whereas only one serogroup A meningococcus was isolated in 5001 people living in the same community 4-6 months after vaccination (adjusted odds ratio 0·019, 95% CI 0·002-0·138; p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION:PSA-TT was highly effective at prevention of serogroup A invasive meningococcal disease and carriage in Chad. How long this protection will persist needs to be established. FUNDING:The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and Médecins Sans Frontères.
Project description:Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A is the main causative pathogen of meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, serogroup W135 has also been the cause of epidemics. Mass vaccination campaigns with polysaccharide vaccines are key elements in controlling these epidemics. Facing global vaccine shortage, we explored the use of fractional doses of a licensed A/C/Y/W135 polysaccharide meningococcal vaccine.We conducted a randomized, non-inferiority trial in 750 healthy volunteers 2-19 years old in Mbarara, Uganda, to compare the immune response of the full dose of the vaccine versus fractional doses (1/5 or 1/10). Safety and tolerability data were collected for all subjects during the 4 weeks following the injection. Pre- and post-vaccination sera were analyzed by measuring serum bactericidal activity (SBA) with baby rabbit complement. A responder was defined as a subject with a > or =4-fold increase in SBA against a target strain from each serogroup and SBA titer > or =128. For serogroup W135, 94% and 97% of the vaccinees in the 1/5- and 1/10-dose arms, respectively, were responders, versus 94% in the full-dose arm; for serogroup A, 92% and 88% were responders, respectively, versus 95%. Non-inferiority was demonstrated between the full dose and both fractional doses in SBA seroresponse against serogroups W135 and Y, in total population analysis. Non-inferiority was shown between the full and 1/5 doses for serogroup A in the population non-immune prior to vaccination. Non-inferiority was not shown for any of the fractionate doses for serogroup C. Safety and tolerability data were favourable, as observed in other studies.While the advent of conjugate A vaccine is anticipated to largely contribute to control serogroup A outbreaks in Africa, the scale-up of its production will not cover the entire "Meningitis Belt" target population for at least the next 3 to 5 years. In view of the current shortage of meningococcal vaccines for Africa, the use of 1/5 fractional doses should be considered as an alternative in mass vaccination campaigns.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00271479.
Project description:Rapid serogrouping of meningococci is essential for the effective public health management of cases of the disease and the contacts of infected patients. Here we describe an accurate nucleotide-sequencing method for the confirmation of serogroup Y and W135 meningococci by siaD gene analysis from cultures of Neisseria meningitidis.
Project description:Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W135 has been associated with global outbreaks since the 2000 Hajj. Considering that N. meningitidis serogroup W135 is the third most prevalent serogroup isolated in Brazil in the last 10 years, and the possibility that the Hajj-related N. meningitidis serogroup W135 clone has been causing disease in Brazil, the present study characterized invasive N. meningitidis serogroup W135 isolates recovered in Brazil from 1990 to 2005.The isolates were characterized by serotyping, PorA and PorB VR typing, FetA and 16S rRNA typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).Based on MLST, 73% of the isolates were clustered in one major clone of ST-11 complex/ET37 complex. Strains of this clone had the same STs, serotypes and PorA VR types as found in Hajj-related N. meningitidis serogroup W135 clone. One of these strains had the Hajj-2000 outbreak strain genotype, including 16S rRNA gene sequence 31 and 84% relatedness by PFGE.Taken together, these data suggest that the Hajj-related N. meningitidis serogroup W135 clone is present in Brazil but has not yet caused a substantial number of infections. Given the emergence of N. meningitidis serogroup W135 globally and the unpredictability of meningococcal disease epidemiology, continued surveillance for this invasive N. meningitidis serogroup W135 clone is needed for control and prevention strategies.
Project description:For over 100 years, large epidemics of meningococcal meningitis have occurred every few years in areas of the African Sahel and sub-Sahel known as the African meningitis belt. Until recently, the main approach to the control of these epidemics has been reactive vaccination with a polysaccharide vaccine after an outbreak has reached a defined threshold and provision of easy access to effective treatment but this approach has not prevented the occurrence of new epidemics. Meningococcal conjugate vaccines, which can prevent meningococcal carriage and thus interrupt transmission, may be more effective than polysaccharide vaccines at preventing epidemics. Because the majority of African epidemics have been caused by serogroup A meningococci, a serogroup A polysaccharide/tetanus toxoid protein conjugate vaccine (PsA-TT) has recently been developed. Results from an initial evaluation of the impact of this vaccine on meningococcal disease and meningococcal carriage in Burkina Faso have been encouraging. To review how the research agenda for meningococcal disease in Africa has been changed by the advent of PsA-TT and to define a new set of research priorities for study of meningococcal infection in Africa, a meeting of 41 scientists was held in Dakar, Senegal on April 24th and 25th 2012. The research recommendations developed during the course of this meeting are presented in this paper. The need for enhanced surveillance for meningitis in defined populations with good diagnostic facilities in African countries at risk of epidemics was identified as the highest priority. This is needed to determine the duration of protection against serogroup A meningococcal disease provided by PsA-TT and to determine the risk of disease and carriage caused by meningococci of other serogroups. Other research areas given high priority included identification and validation of serological correlates of protection against meningococcal disease and carriage, development of improved methods for detecting carriage and epidemiological studies aimed at determining the reasons underlying the peculiar epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the African meningitis belt. Minutes and working papers from the meeting are provided in supplementary tables and some of the presentations made at the meeting are available on the MenAfriCar consortium website (www.menafricar.org) and on the web site of the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis (meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis) are a major public health concern in the African "meningitis belt," which includes 21 countries from Senegal to Ethiopia. Of the several species that can cause meningitis, N. meningitidis is the most important cause of epidemics in this region. In choosing the appropriate vaccine, accurate N. meningitidis serogroup determination is key. To this end, we developed and evaluated two duplex rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for detecting N. meningitidis polysaccharide (PS) antigens of several important serogroups.<h4>Methods and findings</h4>Mouse monoclonal IgG antibodies against N. meningitidis PS A, W135/Y, Y, and C were used to develop two immunochromatography duplex RDTs, RDT1 (to detect serogroups A and W135/Y) and RDT2 (to detect serogroups C and Y). Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy criteria were used to determine diagnostic accuracy of RDTs on reference strains and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples using culture and PCR, respectively, as reference tests. The cutoffs were 10(5) cfu/ml for reference strains and 1 ng/ml for PS. Sensitivities and specificities were 100% for reference strains, and 93.8%-100% for CSF serogroups A, W135, and Y in CSF. For CSF serogroup A, the positive and negative likelihood ratios (+/- 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were 31.867 (16.1-63.1) and 0.065 (0.04-0.104), respectively, and the diagnostic odds ratio (+/- 95% CI) was 492.9 (207.2-1,172.5). For CSF serogroups W135 and Y, the positive likelihood ratio was 159.6 (51.7-493.3) Both RDTs were equally reliable at 25 degrees C and 45 degrees C.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These RDTs are important new bedside diagnostic tools for surveillance of meningococcus serogroups A and W135, the two serogroups that are responsible for major epidemics in Africa.
Project description:The pattern of epidemic meningococcal disease in the African meningitis belt may be influenced by the background level of population immunity but this has been measured infrequently. A standardised enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for measuring meningococcal serogroup A IgG antibodies was established at five centres within the meningitis belt. Antibody concentrations were then measured in 3930 individuals stratified by age and residence from six countries. Seroprevalence by age was used in a catalytic model to determine the force of infection. Meningococcal serogroup A IgG antibody concentrations were high in each country but showed heterogeneity across the meningitis belt. The geometric mean concentration (GMC) was highest in Ghana (9.09 ?g/mL [95% CI 8.29, 9.97]) and lowest in Ethiopia (1.43 ?g/mL [95% CI 1.31, 1.57]) on the margins of the belt. The force of infection was lowest in Ethiopia (? = 0.028). Variables associated with a concentration above the putative protective level of 2 ?g/mL were age, urban residence and a history of recent vaccination with a meningococcal vaccine. Prior to vaccination with the serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine, meningococcal serogroup A IgG antibody concentrations were high across the African meningitis belt and yet the region remained susceptible to epidemics.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Occupational exposure to live meningococci can potentially cause invasive meningococcal disease in laboratory staff. While, until recently, immunization with quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine represented one cornerstone of protection, data on long-term persistence of antibodies in adults remain scarce.<h4>Methods</h4>We analyzed the relationship of antibody levels and time following quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccination (Mencevax® ACWY, GlaxoSmithKline) in a cross-sectional sample of 20 laboratory workers vaccinated at ages between 16.4 to 40.7 years from Germany. Sera were obtained 0.4 to 158.5 (median 35.3) months after vaccination. At the time of sampling, laboratory workers had been regularly exposed to meningococci for periods between 3.2 to 163.8 (median 41.2) months. Serum bactericidal assay (SBA) with rabbit complement and a microsphere-based flow analysis method were used to determine bactericidal titers and concentrations of IgG, respectively, against serogroups A, C, W135, and Y. Decay of antibodies was modeled using linear regression. Protective levels were defined as SBA titers???8.<h4>Results</h4>Half-lives of SBA titers against serogroups A, C, W135, and Y were estimated at 27.4, 21.9, 18.8, and 28.0 months, respectively. Average durations of protection were estimated at 183.9, 182.0, 114.6, and 216.4 months, respectively. Inter-individual variation was high; using lower margins of 95% prediction intervals, minimal durations of protection against serogroups A, C, W135 and Y were estimated at 33.5, 24.6, 0.0, and 55.1 months, respectively. The proportion of staff with protective SBA titers against W135 (65.0%) was significantly lower than proportions protected against A (95.0%), C (94.7%), and Y (95.0%). Consistently, geometric mean titer (97.0) and geometric mean concentration of IgG (2.1 ?g/ml) was lowest against serogroup W135. SBA titers in a subset of individuals with incomplete protection rose to???128 (? 8 fold) after reimmunization with a quadrivalent glycoconjugate vaccine.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The average duration of protection following immunization with a quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine in adults was???115 months regardless of serogroup. A substantial proportion (approximately 23% according to our decay model) of adult vaccinees may not retain protection against serogroup W135 for five years, the time suggested for reimmunization.
Project description:Experimental animal models of bacterial meningitis are useful to study the host-pathogen interactions occurring at the cerebral level and to analyze the pathogenetic mechanisms behind this life-threatening disease. In this study, we have developed a mouse model of meningococcal meningitis based on the intracisternal inoculation of bacteria. Experiments were performed with mouse-passaged serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis. Survival and clinical parameters of infected mice and microbiological and histological analysis of the brain demonstrated the establishment of meningitis with features comparable to those of the disease in humans. When using low bacterial inocula, meningococcal replication in the brain was very efficient, with a 1,000-fold increase of viable counts in 18 h. Meningococci were also found in the blood, spleens, and livers of infected mice, and bacterial loads in different organs were dependent on the infectious dose. As glutamate uptake from the host has been implicated in meningococcal virulence, mice were infected intracisternally with an isogenic strain deficient in the ABC-type L-glutamate transporter GltT. Noticeably, the mutant was attenuated in virulence in mixed infections, indicating that wild-type bacteria outcompeted the GltT-deficient meningococci. The data show that the GltT transporter plays a role in meningitis and concomitant systemic infection, suggesting that meningococci may use L-glutamate as a nutrient source and as a precursor to synthesize the antioxidant glutathione.
Project description:Serogroup A meningococci are a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults worldwide. However, the genetic basis of serogroup A strains' virulence and their epidemiological properties remain poorly understood. Therefore, we sequenced the complete genome of the transformable Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A strain WUE2594.