Outbreak strain characterisation and pharyngeal carriage detection following a protracted group B meningococcal outbreak in adolescents in South-West England

Stephen Clark, Jay Lucidarme, Georgina Angel, Aiswarya Lekshmi, Begonia Morales-Aza, Laura Willerton, Helen Campbell, Steve J Gray, Shamez Ladhani, Mike Wade, Mary Elizabeth Ramsay, Julie Yates, Adam Finn, Ray Borrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
282 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Between April 2016 and September 2017, four cases of group B meningococcal disease were reported among sixth-form college students in Bristol, UK. Culture and non-culture whole genome sequencing was utilised and demonstrated that the four genomes of the responsible ST-41 strains clustered closely on a sub-lineage of ST-41/44 clonal complex. The outbreak resulted in two fatalities. A distinct social group associated with one of the cases was selected for vaccination with 4CMenB and pharyngeal swabbing. In vitro culturing, multiple real-time PCR assays (sodC, ctrA and siaDB) and a PorA PCR-sequencing assay were used to detect meningococcal colonisation and a carriage rate of 32.6% was observed. Furthermore, a high proportion of the pharyngeal swabs (78.3%) yielded a Factor H-Binding Protein (fHbp) nucleotide allele suggesting that the antigenic gene is prevalent among non-meningococcal flora, most likely Neisseria commensals. This may have implications for fHbp as a vaccine antigen should it be shown to influence bacterial colonisation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9990 (2019)
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019

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