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Serotype-specific outbreak of group B meningococcal disease in Iquique, Chile

  • C. Cruz (a1), G. Pavez (a1), E. Aguilar (a1), L. Grawe (a1), J. Cam (a1), F. Mendez (a1), J. Garcia (a2), S. Ruiz (a2), P. Vicent (a3), I. Canepa (a3), M. Martinez (a1), J. Boslego (a4), W. Zollinger (a4), J. Arthur (a4) and D. Caugant (a5)...

Summary

From 1979 to August 1987, there have been 178 cases of meningococcal disease in Iquique, Chile, a city of about 140000. The attack rate for the last 5 years has been in excess of 20/100000 per year, more than 20 times greater than for the country overall. The mortality rate was 6%. The disease occurred in patients with ages from 4 months to 60 years, but 89% of cases were in patients <21 years. The largest number of cases were in the age group 5–9 years (n = 54), but the highest incidence occurred in children less than 1 year of age (72·8/100000 per year). The male/female ratio was 1·2. Cases occurred all year round with little seasonal variation. Of the 178 cases, 173 were biologically confirmed. Serogroup analysis of strains from 135 patients revealed A = 1, B = 124, C = 10. Forty-four group B strains from 1985–7 were serotyped: 15:P1.3 = 36, 15:NT = 4, 4:P1.3 = 2, NT:NT = 2. Ten of 11 of the outbreak strains tested were sulfadiazine-resistant. This is the first recognized outbreak caused by a Gp B:15 strain in South America. It shares many of the characteristics of outbreaks caused by closely related strains in Europe, such as a predilection for older children and adolescents, sulfadiazine-resistance, and sustained high attack rates. The Iquique strain (B:15:P1.3) belongs to the same genetic clone (ET-5 complex) as the Norway (B:15:P1.16) and the Cuban (B:4:P1.15) strains.

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References

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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