The changing epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the United States, 1992-1996

Nancy E. Rosenstein, Bradley A. Perkins, David S. Stephens, Lewis Lefkowitz, Matthew L. Cartter, Richard N Danila, Paul Cieslak, Kathleen A. Shutt, Tanja Popovic, Anne Schuchat, Lee H. Harrison, Arthur L. Reingold, G. Rothrock, N. Mukerjee, P. Daily, L. Gelling, D. Vugia, B. Barnes, C. Gilmore, M. FarleyW. Baughman, S. Whitfield, M. Bardsley, L. Billmann, D. Dwyer, J. Hadler, P. Mshar, N. Barrett, C. Morin, Q. Phan, M. Osterholm, J. Rainbow, Catherine A Lexau, L. Triden, K. White, J. Besser, K. Stefonek, J. Donegon, S. Ladd-Wilson, G. Ajello, M. Berkowitz, B. Plikaytis, M. Reeves, K. Robinson, S. Schmink, M. L. Tondella

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New meningococcal vaccines are undergoing clinical trials, and changes in the epidemiologic features of meningococcal disease will affect their use. Active laboratory-based, population-based US surveillance for meningococcal disease during 1992-1996 was used to project that 2400 cases of meningococcal disease occurred annually. Incidence was highest in infants; however, 32% of cases occurred in persons ≥30 years of age. Serogroup C caused 35% of cases; serogroup B, 32%; and serogroup Y, 26%. Increasing age (relative risk [RR], 1.01 per year), having an isolate obtained from blood (RR, 4.5), and serogroup C (RR, 1.6) were associated with increased case fatality. Among serogroup B isolates, the most commonly expressed serosubtype was P1.15; 68% of isolates expressed 1 of the 6 most common serosubtypes. Compared with cases occurring in previous years, recent cases are more likely to be caused by serogroup Y and to occur among older age groups. Ongoing surveillance is necessary to determine the stability of serogroup and serosubtype distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1894-1901
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999


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