Is group C meningococcal disease increasing in Europe? A report of surveillance of meningococcal infection in Europe 1993-6. European Meningitis Surveillance Group

Epidemiol Infect. 1999 Feb;122(1):41-9. doi: 10.1017/s0950268898001848.


A surveillance system to assess the impact and changing epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in Europe was set up in 1987. Since about 1991, contributors from national reference laboratories, national communicable disease surveillance centres and institutes of public health in 35 European countries provided information on all reported cases of meningococcal disease in their country. We describe some trends observed over the period 1993-6. The main findings were: the overall incidence of meningococcal disease was 1.1 per 100000 population but there was some evidence of a slow increase over time and with northern European countries tending to have a higher incidence (Kendall correlation 0.5772, P < 0.001), an increasing predominance of serogroup C, and a shift in the age distribution towards teenagers and away from younger children (chi2 test for trend 44.56, P < 0.0001), although about half of the cases were under 5 years of age. The overall case fatality rate was 8.3% and the most common serosubtypes were B:15:P1.7,16 and C:2a:P1.2,5.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Endemic Diseases / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meningococcal Infections / epidemiology*
  • Meningococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Meningococcal Infections / mortality
  • Middle Aged
  • Neisseria meningitidis / classification*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Seasons
  • Serotyping