Transmission of Neisseria meningitidis mainly occurs by formation of aerosols generated in the nasopharynx. Working with meningococci invitro and performing manipulations where aerosols may be generated may result in laboratory acquired infections if appropriate safety precautions are not taken. This review details the practical aspects and experience of safe working with N. meningitidis in the laboratory. The specific risk factor for laboratory-acquired infection is exposure to aerosols containing meningococci. Prevention should therefore focus on the use of microbiology safety cabinets during manipulation of meningococci and this should be reflected in local risk assessments, supported by safe practices of work appropriate facilities and equipment, training/competency and immunisation policies.
- Laboratory acquired