Meningococcal disease surveillance in the Asia-Pacific region (2020): The global meningococcal initiative

J Infect. 2020 Nov;81(5):698-711. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2020.07.025. Epub 2020 Jul 27.


The degree of surveillance data and control strategies for invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) varies across the Asia-Pacific region. IMD cases are often reported throughout the region, but the disease is not notifiable in some countries, including Myanmar, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Although there remains a paucity of data from many countries, specific nations have introduced additional surveillance measures. The incidence of IMD is low and similar across the represented countries (<0.2 cases per 100,000 persons per year), with the predominant serogroups of Neisseria meningitidis being B, W and Y, although serogroups A and X are present in some areas. Resistance to ciprofloxacin is also of concern, with the close monitoring of antibiotic-resistant clonal complexes (e.g., cc4821) being a priority. Meningococcal vaccination is only included in a few National Immunization Programs, but is recommended for high-risk groups, including travellers (such as pilgrims) and people with complement deficiencies or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Both polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines form part of recommendations. However, cost and misconceptions remain limiting factors in vaccine uptake, despite conjugate vaccines preventing the acquisition of carriage.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Asia-Pacific; Bacterial meningitis; Carriage; Conjugate vaccine; Emerging strains; High-risk groups; Immunization program; Meningococcal disease; Neisseria meningitidis; Polysaccharide vaccine; Refugees; Serogroup; Surveillance; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Bangladesh
  • Humans
  • Meningococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Meningococcal Infections* / prevention & control
  • Meningococcal Vaccines*
  • Myanmar
  • Neisseria meningitidis*
  • Serogroup


  • Meningococcal Vaccines