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Review
, 30 (31), 4701-7

Critical Episodes in the Understanding and Control of Epidemic Meningococcal Meningitis

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Review

Critical Episodes in the Understanding and Control of Epidemic Meningococcal Meningitis

Andrew W Artenstein et al. Vaccine.

Abstract

Epidemic meningococcal meningitis continues to be an important worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality, especially in developing countries. Throughout its relatively brief history, especially over the past century, a number of 'critical episodes' have occurred that have enhanced our understanding of the disease and allowed for its potential control. This article reviews three such 'episodes': the first effective treatment for the disease; the development of the first effective meningococcal vaccine; and the description of its epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of epidemic meningococcal disease continues to occur. These historical 'episodes' have informed current strategies that may lead to eventual control of epidemic meningococcal meningitis.

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