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The dynamics of carriage of Neisseria meningitidis in Northern Ghana.

  • Researchers:
    Dr Abraham Hodgson, Dr Gerd Pluschke, Dr Thomas Smith
  • Start Date:
    01 January 2001
  • Category:
  • Location:
    Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel, Switzerland

The dynamics of carriage of Neisseria meningitidis and N. lactamica will be analysed in the Kassena-Nankana District (Upper East Region) of Northern Ghana. The proposed project comprises a total of six 6-monthly field surveys (once in the dry season and once in the wet season of each year) commencing in the wet season (October) of 2001. These surveys will be a continuation of the previous survey series which commenced in 1998. Each survey round includes the same sample of 37 compounds originally randomly selected from a complete listing of the district population (Navrongo Demographic Surveillance System). The total population of these compounds is approximately 300. The studies will provide information on longitudinal patterns of colonisation with multiple types of N. meningitidis and N. lactamica, and spatio-temporal patterns of colonisation and disease during and before a potential new epidemic. The purpose of the studies is i) to determine whether patterns of carriage during inter-epidemic and pre-epidemic periods can help to elucidate the precipitating factors of major epidemics of meningococcal meningitis, ii) to investigate whether vaccination may lead to serotype replacement as seen for pneumococcal carriage and iii) to provide important background information to under-pin an envisioned clinical trial of a group A + C meningococcal conjugate vaccine suitable for use in Africa.

Results from this study have been published in scientific journals as follows:

Leimkugel J, Forgor AA, Gagneux S, Pfluger V, Flierl C, Awine E, Naegeli M, Dangy JP, Smith T, Hodgson A, Pluschke G.
An outbreak of serotype 1 Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis in northern Ghana with features that are characteristic of Neisseria meningitidis meningitis epidemics.
J Infect Dis 2005 Jul 15;192(2):192-9.

Hodgson A, Smith T, Gagneaux S, Adjuik M, Pluschke G, Mensah NK, Binka F, Genton B.
Risk factors for meningococcal meningitis in northern Ghana
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2001 Sep-Oct;95(5):477-80.

Leimkugel J, Hodgson A, Forgor AA, Pfuger V, Dangy JP, Smith T, Achtman M, Gagneux S, Pluschke G.
Clonal Waves of Neisseria Colonisation and Disease in the African Meningitis Belt: Eight-Year Longitudinal Study in Northern Ghana
PLoS Med 2007 Mar 27;4(3):e101 [Epub ahead of print].

David Carr
Meningococcal disease
Meningococcal disease at 26

I think of him every day and we are still devastated by his death.

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