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Molecular surveillance of Neisseria meningitidis capsular switching in Portugal, 2002–2006

  • M. J. SIMÕES (a1), M. CUNHA (a1), F. ALMEIDA (a1), C. FURTADO (a1) and L. BRUM (a1)...

Summary

Neisseria meningitidis capsular switching has been reported in several countries. In order to establish the genetic relationship within group B and C strains expressing subtypes 2a or 2b, and to evaluate whether C to B capsular switching occurred in Portugal, 64 meningococci (56 serogroup C and 8 serogroup B) isolated from invasive meningococcal disease were typed using molecular methods. The studied phenotypes, 2b:P1.5,2 and 2a:P1.5-1,10-8, were the most frequent among serogroup C, but were uncommon among serogroup B strains. The multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) allelic profile and the pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) fingerprints showed that seven serogroup B strains were genotypically identical to C strains, suggesting that capsular switching occurred. Active laboratory surveillance to find evidence of capsule switching is a now priority as MenC was introduced in the Portuguese vaccination schedule in January 2006.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr M. J. Simões, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Av. Padre Cruz 1649-016 Lisbon, Portugal. (Email: m.joao.simoes@insa.min-saude.pt)

References

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1.General Health Department and National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge Report. Meningococcal disease in Portugal 2000–2006. DGS and INSA, 2007, pp. 1617.
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Keywords

Molecular surveillance of Neisseria meningitidis capsular switching in Portugal, 2002–2006

  • M. J. SIMÕES (a1), M. CUNHA (a1), F. ALMEIDA (a1), C. FURTADO (a1) and L. BRUM (a1)...

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