1887

Abstract

During 1996 and 1997 an epidemic wave of meningococcal disease took place in Spain. Initial studies described the antigenic expression of the epidemic strain as C:2b:P1.2,5 and proposed that it was a variant of the previously identified Spanish C:2b:non-subtypable epidemic strain. To clarify this hypothesis, 1036 C:2b:P1.2(5) and 76 C:2b:NST isolates obtained during 1992–1999 were analysed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The majority of the C:2b:P1.2,5 and C:2b:P1.2 isolates showed one of two very closely related profiles. During the epidemic period, 80% of the C:2b:NST strains showed these two pulsotypes. However, before the epidemic wave, most of these C:2b:NST strains (60%) showed a profile that was found infrequently among C:2b:P1.2,5 and C:2b:P1.2 isolates. A similar evolution was observed in C:2b:P1.5 isolates. Thirty-four C:2b:P1.2(5) and 10 C:2b:NST isolates, exhibiting representative pulsotypes, were subjected to multi-locus sequence typing. Isolates belonging to both A4 and ET-37 lineages were identified. These data point to the possibility that the A4 cluster has displaced the ET-37 complex among serogroup C meningococci in Spain.

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2002-12-01
2021-01-28
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