To test the hypothesis that an episode of upper respiratory tract infection or heterologous immunisation is a predisposing factor for the occurrence of meningococcal disease, data from 377 cases of meningococcal disease and their household contacts (n = 1124) were analysed by conditional logistic regression analysis with stratification for household. The odds ratio for a recent upper respiratory tract infection for patients household contacts, adjusted for age and the presence of an underlying predisposing disease, was 2.8 and that for recent heterologous immunisation 1.0. These results support previous observations regarding the association between a preceding upper respiratory tract infection and the occurrence of meningococcal disease; however, no association was found between preceding heterologous immunisation and meningococcal disease. Therefore, increased alertness after heterologous immunisation does not seem warranted.


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