Carriage of Neisseria lactamica in 1- to 29-year-old people in Burkina Faso: epidemiology and molecular characterization

J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Dec;50(12):4020-7. doi: 10.1128/JCM.01717-12. Epub 2012 Oct 3.


Neisseria lactamica is a true commensal bacterium occupying the same ecological niche as the pathogenic Neisseria meningitidis, which is responsible for outbreaks and large epidemics, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. To better understand the epidemiology of N. lactamica in Africa and its relationship to N. meningitidis, we studied N. lactamica carriage in 1- to 29-year-old people living in three districts of Burkina Faso from 2009 to 2011. N. lactamica was detected in 18.2% of 45,847 oropharyngeal samples. Carriage prevalence was highest among the 2-year-olds (40.1%) and decreased with age. Overall prevalence was higher for males (19.1%) than females (17.5%) (odds ratio [OR], 1.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 1.18), while among the 18- to 29-year-olds, carriage prevalence was significantly higher in women (9.1%) than in men (3.9%) (OR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.94 to 3.19). Carriage prevalence of N. lactamica was remarkably homogeneous in the three districts of Burkina Faso and stable over time, in comparison with carriage of N. meningitidis (P. A. Kristiansen et al., Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 18:435-443, 2011). There was no significant seasonal variation of N. lactamica carriage and no significant change in carriage prevalence after introduction of the serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenAfriVac. Multilocus sequence typing was performed on a selection of 142 isolates. The genetic diversity was high, as we identified 62 different genotypes, of which 56 were new. The epidemiology of N. lactamica carriage and the molecular characteristics of carried isolates were similar to those reported from industrialized countries, in contrast to the particularities of N. meningitidis carriage and disease epidemiology in Burkina Faso.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / microbiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Neisseria lactamica / classification
  • Neisseria lactamica / genetics
  • Neisseria lactamica / isolation & purification*
  • Neisseriaceae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Neisseriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Oropharynx / microbiology
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult