Jones, Graeme R., Williams, Jeanette N., Christodoulides, Myron, Jolley, Keith and Heckels, John E.
Lack of immunity in university students before an outbreak of serogroup C meningococcal infection
Journal of Infectious Diseases, 181, (3), . (doi:10.1086/315352). (PMID:10720549).
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Immunity to meningococci was determined in infected and uninfected students before and during an outbreak of serogroup C meningococcal infection at a university in the United Kingdom. No immunity against the outbreak strain was detected in serum taken from infected students prior to the outbreak or at the time of admission; bactericidal activity developed during convalescence. Carriage of all strains of serogroup C meningococci in asymptomatic students was low (0.9%), and no carriage of the outbreak strain could be detected. Immunity in the at-risk student population before the outbreak was low: 90% of students had no significant bactericidal activity against the outbreak strain. A low prevalence of carriage of the outbreak strain, together with a low prevalence of protective immunity within the student population, was associated with a high incidence of invasive disease in those who acquired the outbreak strain.
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