Epidemic meningitis, meningococcaemia, and Neisseria meningitidis.Lancet. 2007 Jun 30; 369(9580):2196-2210.Lct
Meningococcus, an obligate human bacterial pathogen, remains a worldwide and devastating cause of epidemic meningitis and sepsis. However, advances have been made in our understanding of meningococcal biology and pathogenesis, global epidemiology, transmission and carriage, host susceptibility, pathophysiology, and clinical presentations. Approaches to diagnosis, treatment, and chemoprophylaxis are now in use on the basis of these advances. Importantly, the next generation of meningococcal conjugate vaccines for serogroups A, C, Y, W-135, and broadly effective serogroup B vaccines are on the horizon, which could eliminate the organism as a major threat to human health in industrialised countries in the next decade. The crucial challenge will be effective introduction of new meningococcal vaccines into developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are urgently needed.