Prevention and control of meningococcal disease: Updates from the Global Meningococcal Initiative in Eastern Europe

Xilian Bai, Raymond Borrow, Suzana Bukovski, Dominique A. Caugant, Davor Culic, Snezana Delic, Ener Cagri Dinleyici, Medeia Eloshvili, Tímea Erdősi, Jelena Galajeva, Pavla Křížová, Jay Lucidarme, Konstantin Mironov, Zuridin Nurmatov, Marina Pana, Erkin Rahimov, Larisa Savrasova, Anna Skoczyńska, Vinny Smith, Muhamed Kheir TahaLeonid Titov, Julio Vázquez, Lyazzat Yeraliyeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI) aims to prevent invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) worldwide through education, research and cooperation. In March 2019, a GMI meeting was held with a multidisciplinary group of experts and representatives from countries within Eastern Europe. Across the countries represented, IMD surveillance is largely in place, with incidence declining in recent decades and now generally at <1 case per 100,000 persons per year. Predominating serogroups are B and C, followed by A, and cases attributable to serogroups W, X and Y are emerging. Available vaccines differ between countries, are generally not included in immunization programs and provided to high-risk groups only. Available vaccines include both conjugate and polysaccharide vaccines; however, current data and GMI recommendations advocate the use of conjugate vaccines, where possible, due to the ability to interrupt the acquisition of carriage. Ongoing carriage studies are expected to inform vaccine effectiveness and immunization schedules. Additionally, IMD prevention and control should be guided by monitoring outbreak progression and the emergence and international spread of strains and antibiotic resistance through use of genomic analyses and implementation of World Health Organization initiatives. Protection of high-risk groups (such as those with complement deficiencies, laboratory workers, migrants and refugees) is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Infection
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Bacterial meningitis
  • Conjugate vaccine
  • Eastern Europe
  • High-risk groups
  • Immunization program
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Polysaccharide vaccine
  • Refugees


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