Characterization of Neisseria meningitidis isolates from Egypt using multilocus sequence typing
To characterize Neisseria meningitidis isolates collected from cerebrospinal fluid of meningitis cases in Egypt (1998-2003) as part of surveillance studies, 67 isolates were serogrouped, tested for antibiotic sensitivity and analyzed using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Results show that isolates expressing serogroup B (50.7%) and serogroup A (34.3%) antigens were predominant in Egypt during the surveillance period, possibly due to suppression of other serogroups by meningococcal vaccines in current use. Intermediate resistance to penicillin was observed in 71% of the isolates, suggesting a need for physicians to shift to third-generation cephalosporins during the empirical treatment of infection. Recurrent lineages of N. meningitidis in Egypt appear to originate from Europe and other Middle Eastern countries. Of 19 sequence types detected, five were unique to Africa and 10 were not observed previously in the MLST database. The information obtained illustrates the changing dynamics of meningitis after vaccine introduction in Egypt.
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