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Outbreak strain characterisation and pharyngeal carriage detection following a protracted group B meningococcal outbreak in adolescents in South-West England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Stephen Clark
  • Jay Lucidarme
  • Georgina Angel
  • Aiswarya Lekshmi
  • Begonia Morales-Aza
  • Laura Willerton
  • Helen Campbell
  • Steve J Gray
  • Shamez Ladhani
  • Mike Wade
  • Mary Elizabeth Ramsay
  • Julie Yates
  • Adam Finn
  • Ray Borrow
Original languageEnglish
Article number9990 (2019)
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2019
DatePublished (current) - 10 Jul 2019

Abstract

Between April 2016 and September 2017, four cases of group B meningococcal disease were reported among sixth-form college students in Bristol, UK. Culture and non-culture whole genome sequencing was utilised and demonstrated that the four genomes of the responsible ST-41 strains clustered closely on a sub-lineage of ST-41/44 clonal complex. The outbreak resulted in two fatalities. A distinct social group associated with one of the cases was selected for vaccination with 4CMenB and pharyngeal swabbing. In vitro culturing, multiple real-time PCR assays (sodC, ctrA and siaDB) and a PorA PCR-sequencing assay were used to detect meningococcal colonisation and a carriage rate of 32.6% was observed. Furthermore, a high proportion of the pharyngeal swabs (78.3%) yielded a Factor H-Binding Protein (fHbp) nucleotide allele suggesting that the antigenic gene is prevalent among non-meningococcal flora, most likely Neisseria commensals. This may have implications for fHbp as a vaccine antigen should it be shown to influence bacterial colonisation.

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Springer Nature at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46483-3. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Springer Nature at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46483-3#author-information. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 452 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY

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