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Outbreak control meeting

An outbreak control meeting is called to review all the available information and make decisions on any further public health actions required.

Situation Summary

Within 19 days there have been six university-associated cases of meningococcal disease and three deaths. Case 1 occurred two weeks before cases 2-6 which were all diagnosed within five days of each other. Five of the six cases have been confirmed as serogroup C meningococcal disease (there was no isolate from case 2).

Serological test results for cases 1, 3 and 6 were as follows;

Serological Information

Serological test results were available for cases 1,3 and 6.

Table 1

Click on table to see the results


Information on serotype and subtype

Serotype and serosubtype relate to molecules on the surface of meningococci which are classically detected using antibodies. Expression of serotype and sero-subtype can be intermittent, resulting in a nontypeable (NT) result.

Here, the serological tests did not fully discriminate the disease isolates; case 1 was characterized as C:2a:NT and cases 3 and 6 as C:NT:P1.5.

That is, no sero-subtype was assigned to the isolate from Case 1 and no serotype was assigned to the isolates from case 3 or case 6.

However, serotype and serosubtype can also be assigned by detection of the genes associated with these surface molecules. This can be done by PCR - once the Meningococcal Reference Unit has extracted DNA from the meningococcal isolates the serogroup, serotype and sero-subtype information can be available within hours.

It is also possible to extract information about serogroup, serotype and serosubtype from whole genome data.

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