Author Affiliations: National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
In the past decade, the introduction of meningococcal conjugate vaccines has led to substantial reductions in meningococcal disease. Monovalent serogroup C vaccines have virtually eliminated serogroup C disease from the United Kingdom and other countries, and serogroup A, C, W, and Y vaccines have reduced disease among adolescents in the United States.1,2 In 2010 and 2011, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and part of Nigeria introduced serogroup A conjugate vaccine, which may eliminate epidemic meningitis from the meningitis belt of Africa. These accomplishments have been dampened by the lack of effective serogroup B meningococcal vaccines. Serogroup B meningococcal disease causes substantial morbidity and mortality globally, especially in young infants.3- 5 Serogroup B disease can be devastating; 5% to 10% of children with the disease do not survive and another 10% to 20% experience long-term sequelae such as hearing loss, limb loss, and neurologic deficits.5 Disease burden is lower in the United States than in other countries; incidence of serogroup B disease is 0.16 per 100 000 population but 3.08 per 100 000 population among infants younger than 12 months.4 In contrast, incidence of serogroup B disease in several countries in Europe, including the United Kingdom, is about 10-fold that in the United States.3
Cohn AC, Messonnier NE. Inching Toward a Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine for Infants. JAMA. 2012;307(6):614-615. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.118