Meningococcal disease and control in China: Findings and updates from the Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI)

Junhong Li, Zhujun Shao, Gang Liu, Xilian Bai, Raymond Borrow*, Min Chen, Qinglan Guo, Yue Han, Yixing Li, Muhamed Kheir Taha, Xihai Xu, Xin Xu, Huizhen Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI) is a global expert group, including scientists, clinicians and public health officials from a wide range of specialities. The goal of the GMI is to prevent meningococcal disease worldwide through education, research, and co-operation. The Chinese GMI roundtable meeting was held in June 2017. The GMI met with local experts to gain insight into the meningococcal disease burden in China and current prevention and vaccination strategies in place. China experienced five epidemics of serogroup A meningococcal disease (MenA) between 1938 and 1977, with peak incidence of 403/100,000 recorded in 1967. MenA incidence rates have significantly declined following the universal introduction of the MenA polysaccharide vaccine in China in the 1980s. Further, surveillance data indicates changing meningococcal epidemiology in China with the emergence of new clones of serogroup B from serogroup C clonal complex (cc) 4821 due to capsular switching, and the international spread of serogroup W cc11. The importance of carriage and herd protection for controlling meningococcal disease was highlighted with the view to introduce conjugate vaccines and serogroup B vaccines into the national immunization schedule. Improved disease surveillance and standardized laboratory techniques across and within provinces will ensure optimal epidemiological monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infection
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
MKT performs contract work for the Institut Pasteur funded by GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi Pasteur.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Bacterial meningitis
  • China
  • Conjugate vaccine
  • Epidemiology
  • Immunization program
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Polysaccharide vaccine
  • Surveillance
  • Vaccination


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