Journal Article

Serotype Distribution, Antibiotic Susceptibility, and Genetic Relatedness of <i>Neisseria meningitidis</i> Strains Recently Isolated in Italy

Paola Mastrantonio, Paola Stefanelli, Cecilia Fazio, Tonino Sofia, Arianna Neri, Giuseppina LaRosa, Cinzia Marianelli, Michele Muscillo, Maria Grazia Caporali and Stefania Salmaso

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 422-428
Published in print February 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online February 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/346154
Serotype Distribution, Antibiotic Susceptibility, and Genetic Relatedness of Neisseria meningitidis Strains Recently Isolated in Italy

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The availability of new polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C prompted European National Health authorities to carefully monitor isolate characteristics. In Italy, during 1999–2001, the average incidence was 0.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Serogroup B was predominant and accounted for 75% of the isolates, followed by serogroup C with 24%. Serogroup C was isolated almost twice as frequently in cases of septicemia than in cases of meningitis, and the most common phenotypes were C:2a:P1.5 and C:2b:P1.5. Among serogroup B meningococci, the trend of predominant phenotypes has changed from year to year, with a recent increase in the frequency of B:15:P1.4. Only a few meningococci had decreased susceptibility to penicillin, and, in the penA gene, all of these strains had exogenous DNA blocks deriving from the DNA of commensal Neisseria flavescens, Neisseria cinerea, and Neisseria perflava/sicca. Fluorescent amplified fragment—length polymorphism analysis revealed the nonclonal nature of the strains with decreased susceptibility to penicillin.

Journal Article.  3883 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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