Spread of Neisseria meningitidis group A clone III-I meningitis epidemic into Zambia

J Infect. 1998 Mar;36(2):141-3. doi: 10.1016/s0163-4453(98)80002-9.


The epidemic of Neisseria meningitidis group A clone III-I strain began with the 1987 outbreak in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Intense epidemics in African countries occurred the following year. Clone III-I was first isolated from Africa in 1988 in Chad, followed by epidemics in Ethiopia (1989), Kenya and Tanzania (1989), and The Central African Republic (1992). We report an epidemic of Neisseria meningitidis group A clone III-I afflicting Zambia during a 2-year period (April 1992-May 1994). This extension of the 'meningitis belt' southwards into Central Africa is cause for concern. Active surveillance for this disease should be carried out by all African countries, even those outside the well described sub-Saharan 'meningitis belt'.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / epidemiology*
  • Meningitis, Meningococcal / microbiology
  • Neisseria meningitidis / classification*
  • Neisseria meningitidis / isolation & purification
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Zambia / epidemiology