Meningococcal disease 2016

The 37 notified cases of meningococcal disease (MD) is the lowest number recorded since monitoring of the disease was introduced in 1980.

The most frequent group is still group B, which comprised 41% of the MD cases. The number of MD cases of group B has followed a decreasing trend from 132 in 1993 to 14 in 2016.

Furthermore, there were nine MD cases of group W135, four C, three Y, four of unknown group and a single case of group X and 29E, respectively.

Group W135 was previously a rare group, but now follows an increasing trend; one or no cases have been observed annually since 2008.

But in 2014, two cases of W135 were recorded, in 2015 three, and in 2016 nine. The nine cases of W135 were scattered across Denmark and are believed to have been sporadic, i.e., independent of each other. Whole-genome sequencing of the meningococcal strains in question could be performed in eight of the cases. Six of these eight strains belonged to clonal complex CC11, which is believed to have an increased propensity to cause outbreaks and which may run a more aggressive disease course than the remaining meningococcal groups.

The occurrence of MD is at an all-time low in Denmark, and fluctuations are seen in the occurrence of different meningococcal groups, but the SSI follows the development in the occurrence of W135 in Denmark closely.

For more information, please see EPI-NEWS 49/2017

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