Molecular techniques for the investigation of meningococcal disease epidemiology.
Maiden MC., Frosch M.
Meningococcal disease remains a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality world wide and no comprehensive vaccine is available against the causative organism, Neisseria meningitidis. Molecular studies of the diversity of this bacterium have provided a number of key insights into its biology, which have implications for control of meningococcal disease. These have included the identification of hyperinvasive lineages and the correlation of genetic type with antigenic type and disease epidemiology. In practical terms, such studies have enabled the application of DNA-based technologies in the development of improved methods for diagnosis and epidemiological monitoring. These data are of especial importance with the current, and ongoing, development and introduction of new meningococcal vaccines.