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Brehony C.,University of Oxford | Trotter C.L.,University of Cambridge | Ramsay M.E.,Public Health England | Chandra M.,Public Health England | And 25 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2014

New vaccines targeting meningococci expressing serogroup B polysaccharide have been developed, with some being licensed in Europe. Coverage depends on the distribution of disease-associated genotypes, which may vary by age. It is well established that a small number of hyperinvasive lineages account for most disease, and these lineages are associated with particular antigens, including vaccine candidates. A collection of 4,048 representative meningococcal disease isolates from 18 European countries, collected over a 3-year period, were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Age data were available for 3,147 isolates. The proportions of hyperinvasive lineages, identified as particular clonal complexes (ccs) by MLST, differed among age groups. Subjects < 1 year of age experienced lower risk of sequence type 11 (ST-11) cc, ST-32 cc, and ST-269 cc disease and higher risk of disease due to unassigned STs, 1- to 4-year-olds experienced lower risk of ST-11 cc and ST-32 cc disease, 5- to 14-year-olds were less likely to experience ST-11 cc and ST-269 cc disease, and ≥25-year-olds were more likely to experience disease due to less common ccs and unassigned STs. Younger and older subjects were vulnerable to a more diverse set of genotypes, indicating the more clonal nature of genotypes affecting adolescents and young adults. Knowledge of temporal and spatial diversity and the dynamics of meningococcal populations is essential for disease control by vaccines, as coverage is lineage specific. The nonrandom age distribution of hyperinvasive lineages has consequences for the design and implementation of vaccines, as different variants, or perhaps targets, may be required for different age groups. Copyright © 2014 Brehony et al.


PubMed | Public Health England, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory, NHS Shetland and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2016

The 23rd World Scout Jamboree was held in Japan from 28 July to 8 August 2015 and was attended by over 33,000 scouts from 162 countries. An outbreak of invasive meningococcal disease capsular group W was investigated among participants, with four confirmed cases identified in Scotland, who were all associated with one particular scout unit, and two confirmed cases in Sweden; molecular testing showed the same strain to be responsible for illness in both countries. The report describes the public health action taken to prevent further cases and the different decisions reached with respect to how wide to extend the offer of chemoprophylaxis in the two countries; in Scotland, chemoprophylaxis was offered to the unit of 40 participants to which the four cases belonged and to other close contacts of cases, while in Sweden chemoprophylaxis was offered to all those returning from the Jamboree. The report also describes the international collaboration and communication required to investigate and manage such multinational outbreaks in a timely manner.


PubMed | Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory and 1Health Protection Scotland
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of medical microbiology | Year: 2016

The reported incidence of Legionnaires disease caused by Legionella longbeachae has increased since 2008 in Scotland. While microbiological and epidemiological studies have identified exposure to growing media as a risk factor for infection, little is known about the differences regarding disease risk factors, clinical features and outcomes of infection with L. longbeachae when compared with L. pneumophila. A nested case-case study was performed comparing 12 L. longbeachae cases with 25 confirmed L. pneumophila cases. Fewer L. longbeachae infected patients reported being smokers [27% (95% CI 2-52%) vs. 68% (95% CI 50-86%), P = 0.034] but more L. longbeachae patients experienced breathlessness [67% (95% CI 40-94%) vs. 28% (95% CI 10-46%), P = 0.036]. Significantly more L. longbeachae-infected patients received treatment in intensive care [50% (95% CI 22-78%) vs. 12% (95% CI 0-25%), P = 0.036]. However, the differences in diagnostic methods between the two groups may have led to only the most severe cases of L. longbeachae being captured by the surveillance system. No differences were observed in any of the other pre-hospital symptoms assessed. Our results highlight the similarity of Legionnaires disease caused by L. pneumophila and L. longbeachae, and reinforce the importance of diagnostic tools other than the urinary antigen assays for the detection of non-L. pneumophila species. Unfortunately, cases of community-acquired pneumonia caused by Legionella species will continue to be underdiagnosed unless routine testing criteria changes.


Sullivan C.B.,Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory | Diggle M.A.,Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory | Diggle M.A.,University of Nottingham | Davies R.L.,University of Glasgow | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Meningococcal disease remains a public health burden in the UK and elsewhere. Invasive Neisseria meningitidis, isolated in Scotland between 1972 and 1998, were characterised retrospectively to examine the serogroup and clonal structure of the circulating population. 2607 isolates causing invasive disease were available for serogroup and MLST analysis whilst 2517 were available for multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis only. Serogroup distribution changed from year to year but serogroups B and C were dominant throughout. Serogroup B was dominant throughout the 1970s and early 1980s until serogroup C became dominant during the mid-1980s. The increase in serogroup C was not associated with one particular sequence type (ST) but was associated with a number of STs, including ST-8, ST-11, ST-206 and ST-334. This is in contrast to the increase in serogroup C disease seen in the 1990s that was due to expansion of the ST-11 clonal complex. While there was considerable diversity among the isolates (309 different STs among the 2607 isolates), a large proportion of isolates (59.9%) were associated with only 10 STs. These data highlight meningococcal diversity over time and the need for ongoing surveillance during the introduction of new meningococcal vaccines. © 2015 Sullivan et al.


Cameron R.L.,Health Protection Scotland | Pollock K.G.J.,Health Protection Scotland | Lindsay D.S.J.,Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory | Anderson E.,Health Protection Scotland
Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2016

The reported incidence of Legionnaires’ disease caused by Legionella longbeachae has increased since 2008 in Scotland. While microbiological and epidemiological studies have identified exposure to growing media as a risk factor for infection, little is known about the differences regarding disease risk factors, clinical features and outcomes of infection with L. longbeachae when compared with L. pneumophila. A nested case–case study was performed comparing 12 L. longbeachae cases with 25 confirmed L. pneumophila cases. Fewer L. longbeachae infected patients reported being smokers [27% (95% CI 2–52%) vs. 68% (95% CI 50–86%), P50.034] but more L. longbeachae patients experienced breathlessness [67% (95% CI 40–94%) vs. 28% (95% CI 10–46%), P50.036]. Significantly more L. longbeachae-infected patients received treatment in intensive care [50% (95% CI 22–78%) vs. 12% (95% CI 0–25%), P50.036]. However, the differences in diagnostic methods between the two groups may have led to only the most severe cases of L. longbeachae being captured by the surveillance system. No differences were observed in any of the other pre-hospital symptoms assessed. Our results highlight the similarity of Legionnaires’ disease caused by L. pneumophila and L. longbeachae, and reinforce the importance of diagnostic tools other than the urinary antigen assays for the detection of non-L. pneumophila species. Unfortunately, cases of community-acquired pneumonia caused by Legionella species will continue to be underdiagnosed unless routine testing criteria changes. © 2015 The Authors.

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