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Meningococcal disease in Asia: an under-recognized public health burden

  • A. VYSE (a1), J. M. WOLTER (a2), J. CHEN (a1), T. NG (a1) and M. SORIANO-GABARRO (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 April 2011

A literature search traced existing information on meningococcal disease in Asia. Reviewed data describing the epidemiology of meningococcal disease in Asia are incomplete, due in part to absence of surveillance in many countries, poor bacterial detection methods and social and healthcare barriers to disease reporting. This suggests that meningococcal disease in some Asian countries may be under-recognized, with a need to introduce/improve existing surveillance and case identification systems. Nevertheless, in some developing Asian countries, the disease burden may be significant. Serogroup A meningococcal epidemics are responsible for high morbidity and mortality in some countries and continue to be an ongoing threat, particularly in developing countries. There is an increasing role played by serogroups C, Y, and W-135 in invasive disease, indicating evolving meningococcal disease epidemiology in some countries. Multivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines offer new opportunities in the region for reducing the meningococcal disease burden.

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*Author for correspondence: Dr A. Vyse, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, 20 Av. Fleming, 1300 Wavre, Belgium. (Email:
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