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Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis.
There are 13 serogroups; those that most commonly cause disease are A, B, C, W and Y.
The incidence of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) fluctuates naturally over time. The national notification rate declined from 2002 to 2013, but has increased since 2014. Serogroup B disease has been dominant until recently, but has been naturally declining even in the absence of widespread vaccination against this serogroup. There has been a recent increase in serogroup W disease since 2013; this is now the main serogroup causing meningococcal disease (44.5% of cases with identified serogroup) in Australia in 2016.
Septicaemia and/or meningitis are the most common clinical manifestations of IMD. The highest incidence of meningococcal disease is in children aged <5 years and adolescents aged 15–19 years. Carriage rates of the bacteria are highestin older adolescents and young adults.
Serogroup B disease remains the most common cause of IMD in children, adolescents and young adults. Serogroup W disease occurs over a more diverse age range and may present with less typical clinical manifestations than disease due to other serogroups.
Serogroup C has become rare (1.2% of cases with identified serogroup in 2016) since the introduction of the conjugate meningococcal C vaccine to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) in 2003.
Three types of meningococcal vaccines are available in Australia:
Who should be vaccinated
Table 1: Current access to meningococcal vaccines in Australia
* Refer to The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th edition, 2015 update, for dosing guidelines.
† Funded doses of MenBV for this age group in South Australia are provided through a population-level study assessing the impact of the vaccine on nasopharyngeal carriage of N. meningitidis and herd immunity.
‡ Consult the respective state or territory health department website for further details.
Source: www.ncirs.edu.au meningococcal vaccines fact sheet
The information in the above were collected from the internet,
either from government websites or from reasonably reliable health information sources.
They are for general information only and should not replace the need of seeking medical care during illnesses.