Have You Met Meningitis?

Get to know the serogroups and why your patients may not be fully protected.

There are vaccines approved in the United States for 5 serogroups of meningococcal disease—A, C, Y, W, and B.5,6

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University outbreaks between 2013 and 2015 in the United States demonstrate the seriousness of meningococcal disease.

One in 4 adolescents may be an asymptomatic carrier of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease.7



Learn why developing a vaccine for the prevention of serogroup B meningococcal disease has been a challenge.

Although capsular polysaccharide-based vaccines against serogroups A, C, Y, and W are widely available in the United States, vaccination for serogroup B has only recently become available.6,8

You and your patients should be aware of meningococcal disease signs and symptoms.

Initial symptoms are not easily recognized and can be misinterpreted as the flu, which can make diagnosis difficult.9


Adolescents delay seeing a physician, but in 24 hours meningococcal disease may lead to death or permanent sequelae.10


Adolescents and young adults are at an increased risk for contracting meningococcal disease.11

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References: 1. Lucidarme J, Comanducci M, Findlow J, et al. Characterization of fHbp, nhba (gna2132), nadA, porA, sequence type (ST), and genomic presence of IS1301 in group B meningococcal ST269 clonal complex isolates from England and Wales. J Clin Microbiol. 2009;47(11):3577-3585. 2. Racloz VN, Luiz SJD. The elusive meningococcal meningitis serogroup: a systematic review of serogroup B epidemiology. BMC Infect Dis. 2010;10:175. 3. Borg J, Christie D, Coen PG, Booy R, Viner RM. Outcomes of meningococcal disease in adolescence: prospective, matched-cohort study. Pediatrics. 2009;123:e502-e509. 4. Poland GA. Prevention of meningococcal disease: current use of polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(suppl 2):S45-S53. 5. Cohn AC, MacNeil JR, Harrison LH, et al. Changes in Neisseria meningitidis disease epidemiology in the United States, 1998-2007: implications for prevention of meningococcal disease. Clin Infect Dis. 2010;50(2):184-191. 6. McNeil LK, Zagursky RJ, Lin SL, et al. Role of factor H binding protein in Neisseria meningitidis virulence and its potential as a vaccine candidate to broadly protect against meningococcal disease. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2013;77(2):234-252. 7. Christensen H, May M, Bowen L, et al. Meningococcal carriage by age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2010;10(12):853-861. 8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Summary of Notifiable Diseases—United States, 2013. MMWR. 2013;62(51-52):719-732. 9. Meningitis Research Foundation. Meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia: guidance notes: diagnosis and treatment in general practice, 2014 edition. http//www.meningitis.org/assets/x/50631. Accessed September 29, 2014. 10. Thompson MJ, Ninis N, Perera R, et al. Clinical recognition of meningococcal disease in children and adolescents. Lancet. 2006;367(9508):397-403. 11.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevention and control of meningococcal disease: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. 2013;62(RR-2):1-28.