UKMenCar4: A cross-sectional survey of asymptomatic meningococcal carriage amongst UK adolescents at a period of low invasive meningococcal disease incidence

Holly B Bratcher, Charlene M C Rodrigues, Adam Finn, Mandy Wootton, J Claire Cameron, Andrew Smith, Paul Heath, Shamez Ladhani, Matthew D Snape, Andrew J Pollard, Richard Cunningham, Raymond Borrow, Caroline Trotter, Stephen J Gray, Martin C J Maiden, Jenny M MacLennan

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

Abstract

Carriage of Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a prerequisite for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), a potentially devastating infection that disproportionately afflicts infants and children. Humans are the sole known reservoir for the meningococcus, and it is carried asymptomatically in the nasopharynx of ~10% of the population. Rates of carriage are dependent on age of the host and social and behavioural factors. In the UK, meningococcal carriage has been studied through large, multi-centre carriage surveys of adolescents in 1999, 2000, and 2001, demonstrating carriage can be affected by immunisation with the capsular group C meningococcal conjugate vaccine, inducing population immunity against carriage. Fifteen years after these surveys were carried out, invasive meningococcal disease incidence had declined from a peak in 1999. The UKMenCar4 study was conducted in 2014/15 to investigate rates of carriage amongst the adolescent population during a period of low disease incidence. The protocols and methodology used to perform UKMenCar4, a large carriage survey, are described here.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118
JournalWellcome Open Research
Volume4
Early online date6 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2019

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