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      Estimation of the real burden of invasive meningococcal disease in Argentina

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          Among the different existing types of bacterial meningitis, the one caused by Neisseria meningitidis is the main presentation of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). IMD is a significant public health concern and has a reported incidence rate in Argentina of 0.44 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in 2015. However, the actual incidence is thought to be higher as passive surveillance systems neither report nor identify 100% of all cases. The aim of this study is to develop an estimation of the burden of IMD in Argentina closer to reality by adjusting/correcting several limitations observed in the surveillance data available. A retrospective observational study has been performed using four Argentinean national databases recording the number of IMD cases and deaths, serogroups of N. meningitidis and ages, between 2007 to 2016. The reported data were adjusted to account for underreporting and to also integrate the cases missed due to well-known limitations associated with the diagnosis of N. meningitidis detection methods. Data were further analysed by serogroups of N. meningitidis and by age groups. After these adjustments, the potential numbers of IMD cases and IMD-related deaths are estimated to be 3.1 and 1.9 higher than reported, respectively. The study corrects the previous underestimation of the disease burden and provides expectedly more robust estimates aligned with international evidence and highlights the importance of active surveillance, with high-quality methods, for a better definition of preventive strategies against IMD in Argentina.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Epidemic meningitis, meningococcaemia, and Neisseria meningitidis.

          Meningococcus, an obligate human bacterial pathogen, remains a worldwide and devastating cause of epidemic meningitis and sepsis. However, advances have been made in our understanding of meningococcal biology and pathogenesis, global epidemiology, transmission and carriage, host susceptibility, pathophysiology, and clinical presentations. Approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and chemoprophylaxis are now in use on the basis of these advances. Importantly, the next generation of meningococcal conjugate vaccines for serogroups A, C, Y, W-135, and broadly effective serogroup B vaccines are on the horizon, which could eliminate the organism as a major threat to human health in industrialised countries in the next decade. The crucial challenge will be effective introduction of new meningococcal vaccines into developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are urgently needed.
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            Incorporation of Real-Time PCR into Routine Public Health Surveillance of Culture Negative Bacterial Meningitis in São Paulo, Brazil

            Real-time (RT)-PCR increases diagnostic yield for bacterial meningitis and is ideal for incorporation into routine surveillance in a developing country. We validated a multiplex RT-PCR assay for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Haemophilus influenzae in Brazil. Risk factors for being culture-negative, RT-PCR positive were determined. The sensitivity of RT-PCR in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was 100% (95% confidence limits, 96.0%–100%) for N. meningitidis, 97.8% (85.5%–99.9%) for S. pneumoniae, and 66.7% (9.4%–99.2%) for H. influenzae. Specificity ranged from 98.9% to 100%. Addition of RT-PCR to routine microbiologic methods increased the yield for detection of S. pneumoniae, N. meningitidis, and H. influenzae cases by 52%, 85%, and 20%, respectively. The main risk factor for being culture negative and RT-PCR positive was presence of antibiotic in CSF (odds ratio 12.2, 95% CI 5.9-25.0). RT-PCR using CSF was highly sensitive and specific and substantially added to measures of meningitis disease burden when incorporated into routine public health surveillance in Brazil.
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              Epidemiology of meningococcal disease in Latin America: current situation and opportunities for prevention.

              Meningococcal disease continues to be a serious public health concern, being associated with high morbidity and mortality rates in many countries from Latin America. In addition to discussing recent changes in the epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the region, we also analyse the development and potential impact of new vaccines on the prevention of meningococcal disease. MEDLINE, SciELO, LILACS and websites of the national Ministries of Health databases were searched using the terms meningococcal disease, meningococcal epidemiology, Neisseria meningitidis, meningococcal vaccines and the name of Latin America countries, from 1998 to 2008, with emphasis on review articles, clinical trials and epidemiological studies. Epidemiology of meningococcal disease in Latin America is characterized by marked differences from country to country. The overall incidence of meningococcal disease per year varied from less than 0.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in countries like Mexico to two cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Brazil. The highest age-specific incidence of meningococcal disease occurred in infants less than 1 year of age. Serogroups B and C were responsible for the majority of cases reported, but the emergence of serogroups W135 and Y was reported in some countries. Serogroup A disease is now rare in Latin America. Although a few countries have established meningitis surveillance programs, the information is not uniform, and the quality of the reported data is poor in the majority of the region. The availability of new effective meningococcal conjugate vaccines and promising protein-based vaccine candidates against meningococcus B highlights the importance of a better understanding of the true burden of meningococcal disease in Latin America and also the need for cost-effectiveness studies before incorporating the new meningococcal vaccines to national immunization programs.

                Author and article information

                Epidemiol Infect
                Epidemiol. Infect
                Epidemiology and Infection
                Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, UK )
                29 November 2019
                : 147
                [1 ]GSK , Buenos Aires, Argentina
                [2 ]Ricardo Gutierrez Buenos Aires Children's Hospital , Buenos Aires, Argentina
                Author notes
                Author for correspondence: J. A. Gómez, E-mail: Jorge.A.Gomez@
                © The Author(s) 2019

                This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Equations: 2, References: 29, Pages: 10
                Original Paper


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