Purpose: Neisseria meningitides is one of the most common causative pathogens of bacteremia and meningitis. Recently protein-conjugated vaccines have been developed and included in the routine vaccination schedule in a few countries. In Korea, carriage rates of N. meningitides among healthy adults have been reported. However, systematic data for childhood carriage rates are not available. This study was performed to evaluate the carriage rates of N. meningitides and the serotype distribution among healthy children attending day care centers. Methods: During the period of January through May 2005, nasopharyngeal swabs and culture were obtained from 904 children attending 13 different day care centers located in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. The Vitek NHI card was used to identify N. meningitides and the crgA gene was detected via polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serotype determination was performed by agglutination test using N. meningitides antisera to serotypes A, B, C, D, 29E, W135, X, Y, and Z. PCR for detection of the org2 and saiD gene confirmed serotypes A, B, C, W135, and Y. Results: The mean age among 904 children was 4.5 years; 6.5% (59/904) were children 〈2 years old, 53.8% (486/904) were 2-5 years old, and 39.7% (359/904) were 〉5 years old; 52.0% (468/904) were male. N. meningitides was isolated from only 7 children attending 5 different day care centers and the overall carriage rate of N. meningitides was 0.8%. The detected serotypes of N. meningitides were serotype A (n=2), C (n=2), and Y (n=3). Conclusion: The carriage rate of N. meningitides among healthy children attending day care centers was very low in Korea and the detected serotypes were A, C, and Y.
- Neisseria meningitides