- Neisseria meningitides is the bacteria that causes infection of the meningeal lining of the brain, causing severe brain damage and up to 50% of patients may die of the meningitis.
- This bacteria remains in the nasopharynx in 10% of healthy individuals. Hence, a person may not get the infection but able to spread the infection via coughing or sneezing and transfer of aerosolised respiratory droplets to those near ie; in schools, dormitories, and mass gathering as in Hajj and Umrah.
- Most disease occurs in infants and teenagers at 18 years of age.
- B, C, Y, and W-135 are the most common serogroups in developed countries.
- Serogroup A strains tend to emerge every 10 to 15 years in large epidemics, with attack rates as high as 1000 per 100 000.
- Since the second half of the 20th century, serogroup A epidemics have been largely confined to tropical locales, particularly Africa.
- Conjugated meningitis vaccine of serogroup ACYW-135 can reduced the nasal carriage of the bacteria.
- Currently the vaccine has just completed Phase II clinical trial. Phase III clinical trial will start this year.