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A cross-sectional study of nasopharyngeal carriage in teenagers prior to vaccination with New Zealand OMV meningococcal B vaccine.

  • Researchers:
    Dr Diana Martin, Mrs Joanna Stewart, Professor Diana Lennon
  • Start Date:
    01 January 2004
  • Category:
  • Location:
    University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

This is a cross-sectional study to provide base-line information about meningococcal carriage rates in New Zealand, and specifically the epidemic strain (with a B:P1.7b,4 Por A protein).  This is the strain targeted by the serogroup B outer membrane vesicle vaccine, which is being introduced in a nationwide vaccination campaign beginning in late 2004.

Currently there is no knowledge about nasopharyngeal carriage of meningococci in New Zealand. This information is vital in following changes in carriage in the population after the national vaccination campaign. A cross-sectional study will provide information at a point in time on the level of carriage in the population prior to vaccination, which can be compared to post-vaccination levels in planned further cross-sectional studies. This study may help decide the need to continue vaccinating the birth cohort and whether to boost the vaccinated population. In addition, important information regarding the relationship between carriage and disease rates, deprivation and ethnicity will be acquired.

In this cross-sectional population study, a representative sample of teenagers in the Auckland region will undergo per-oral nasopharyngeal swabbing prior to the onset of the vaccination campaign, to determine the rate of meningococcal carriage in this age group.

All meningococci isolated will be serogrouped, serotyped and serosubtyped. Multi Locus Sequence Typing will be used to determine the sequence type of each isolate, and Por A loci will be sequenced.

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