Objective: To investigate potential risk factors for acquisition in seven countries of the meningitis belt. Methods: Households were followed up every 2 weeks for 2 months, then monthly for a further 4 months. Pharyngeal swabs were collected from all available household members at each visit and questionnaires completed. Risks of acquisition over the whole study period and for each visit were analysed by a series of logistic regressions. Results: Over the course of the study, acquisition was higher in: (i) 5-to 14-year olds, as compared with those 30 years or older (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.4–9.9); (ii) smokers (OR 3.6, 95% CI 0.98–13); and (iii) those exposed to wood smoke at home (OR 2.6 95% CI 1.3–5.6). The risk of acquisition from one visit to the next was higher in those reporting a sore throat during the dry season (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.0–6.7) and lower in those reporting antibiotic use (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.03–0.56). Conclusions: Acquisition of meningococcal carriage peaked in school age children. Recent symptoms of sore throat during the dry season, but not during the rainy season, were associated with a higher risk of acquisition. Upper respiratory tract infections may be an important driver of epidemics in the meningitis belt.
- Neisseria meningitidis
- risk factors
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't