Estimating the total burden of invasive meningococcal disease in England using multiple data sources

Achieving an accurate estimation of the burden of meningococcal disease in England

Scientific version
  • Researchers:
    Dr Shamez Ladhani
  • Start Date:
    01 January 2013
  • Category:
    Surveillance
  • Location:
    HPA Centre for Infections, London, UK
Estimating the total burden of invasive meningococcal disease in England using multiple data sources

What is this project about?

This project, which we are jointly funding with Meningitis UK, aims to achieve an accurate estimation of the burden of meningococcal disease in England. Dr Ladhani and his team will integrate several different sources of information, linking data from the national reference laboratory together with reports from NHS hospital laboratories, admissions to NHS hospitals and deaths data from the Office for National Statistics.

The project will provide a more complete picture of meningococcal disease in a single source, with more in depth information about cases than is currently available in any single national dataset, including the form of disease people suffer (e.g. meningitis, septicaemia or other infection), risk factors for developing disease, length of hospital stay, long-term complications and outcome.

Why is this important?

Two MenB vaccines are in late stage development and one has recently been given positive opinion for a European licence. It is hoped that it will soon be available for routine use in the national immunisation programme.

However, to make decisions about when and how the vaccine could be introduced most effectively, it is crucial to know the precise number of cases and how serious such infections are in different age groups.

Currently, national surveillance of meningococcal disease is known to be incomplete, but we do not know how many cases are not picked up by the surveillance programme. Also, the current surveillance doesn’t routinely collect any clinical information about disease severity. We therefore know little about the individuals who develop disease, and this sort of information is vital for estimating the potential impact of any new vaccine, and monitoring impact once it becomes part of the routine immunisation schedule.


Potential outcomes

We hope that this proof of concept study will not only inform national vaccination policy, but eventually lead to routine integration of national datasets for surveillance of meningococcal disease, providing a system that can be continued into future years.

It could also be extended to other parts of the UK to achieve a true national picture, and be adopted for surveillance of other kinds of meningitis. This project will enable set up of one of the crucial elements to underpin any MenB vaccine introduction.

February 2013

MRF staff made a visit to the Health Protection Agency in London to find out more about this project and how meningococcal disease statistics are put together.

Statistics are really important in helping us to communicate about the burden of this disease, but at the moment numbers can be taken from several different sources. It was really good to hear from Dr Ladhani and his team about how they are designing a way to combine this data and provide a more accurate picture of the burden of meningococcal disease in the coming years.
 

Charlotte lost her lower arms & legs to septicaemia


Health Protection Agency

Read more about the importance of this project in the Health Protection Agency's latest report



Visiting the Health Protection Agency (left to right): Chris Head (MRF), Dr Mary Ramsay (HPA), Kate Rowland (Meningitis UK), Linda Glennie (MRF), Dr Shamez Ladhani (HPA), Gemma Langley (Meningitis UK), Claire Wright (MRF)
Visiting the Health Protection Agency (left to right): Chris Head (MRF), Dr Mary Ramsay (HPA), Kate Rowland (Meningitis UK), Linda Glennie (MRF), Dr Shamez Ladhani (HPA), Gemma Langley (Meningitis UK), Claire Wright (MRF)
Target amount

£20000.00

Donated so far

£0.00

So far £0.00 has been raised for this project including these recent donations...
Back to top

meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Ask the Expert
Professor Chris Tang

Why are MRF continuing to fund MenB research?

Read more