Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Risk factors for Neisseria meningitides carriage in a school during a community outbreak of meningococcal infection

  • A. L. Davies (a1), D. O'Flanagan (a2), R. L. Salmon (a1) and T. J. Coleman (a3)

As part of the management of an outbreak of meningococcal infection, 119 school contacts of an index case were swabbed for nasopharyngeal carriage. In a cohort study, risk factors for Neisseria meningitidis carriage were ascertained by means of a questionnaire, completed by 114 (96%) of those swabbed.

Twenty five (21%) cultures were identified as ‘neisseria positive’; of which there were 18 (15%) Neisseria meningitidis isolates, 2 (2%) Neisseria lactamica isolates and 5 (4%) showed contaminants only. Two (2%) carriers were identified as harbouring the implicated outbreak strain. Single variable analysis identified six statistically significant risk factors for meningococcal carriage; increasing age, female sex, manual social class, personal smoking, regular attendance at a discotheque and rhinorrhoea. Multivariate analysis, using logistic regression modelling, found that of these six variables only age, sex and social class remained statistically significant when the other factors were controlled for. Nevertheless the role of smoking, social events and respiratory/viral infections in nasopharyngeal carriage, and other plausible mechanisms whereby age, sex and social class might exert their effect, could usefully be investigated further.

Corresponding author
* Dr A. L. Davies, Department of Public Health Medicine, Shropshire Health, William Farr House, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY3 8XL.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2. S Greenfield , P Sheehe , H Feldman . Meningococcal carriage in a population of ‘normal’ families. J Infect Dis 1971; 123: 6773.

3. S Greenfield , H Feldman . Familial carriers and meningococcal meningitis. New Eng J Med 1967; 277: 497502.

7. P Olcen , J Kjellander , D Danielsson , B Lindquist . Epidemiology of Neisseria meningitis: prevalence and symptoms from the upper respiratory tract in family members to patients with meningococcal disease. Scand J Infect Dis 1981; 13: 105–9.

22. H Morrow , D Slaten , A Reingold , B Werner , M Fernstersheib . Risk factors associated with a school related outbreak of serogroup C meningococcal disease. Paediatr Infect Dis J 1990; 9: 394–8.

23. L Young , F Laforce , J Hed , J Feeley , J Bennett . A simultaneous outbreak of meningococcal and influenza infections. New Eng J Med 1972; 287: 59.

25. B Hubert , L Watier , P Garnerin , S Richardson . Meningoccal disease and influenza-like syndrome: a new approach to an old question. J Infect Dis 1992; 166: 542–5.

26. S Reilly , P Gaunt . Influenza A and meningococcal disease. Lancet 1991; 338: 1143–4.

28. L Harrison , C Armstrong , S Jenkins A cluster of meningococcal disease on a school bus following epidemic influenza. Arch Intern Med 1991; 151: 1005–9.

29. B Kristiansen , H Elverland . Increased meningococcal carrier rate after tonsillectomy. BMJ 1984; 288: 974.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 4 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 56 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.