An elusive, yet deadly bacterial infection may be prevented with vaccination

  • N Soofie Sanofi Pasteur
Keywords: deadly bacterial infection, vaccination, Invasive Meningococcal Disease


Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is an aggressive bacterial infection caused by the species Neisseria  meningitidis.1 The bacteria are covered by a polysaccharide capsule which assists in deflecting the host’s immune cells allowing the bacteria to spread rapidly within the host, undetected.1N. meningitidis consists of 13 serogroups of which serogroups A, C, Y and W have historically accounted for more than 60% of all infections in humans.1-4 Whilst serogroup B is fast becoming dominant in some parts of the world, bacterial circulatory patterns fluctuate constantly with serogroups A, C, Y and W continuing to account for the majority of infections.1,2,4,5 N. meningitidis infection rates are currently < 0.2 per 100 000 in South Africa; however, due to the elusive nature and ambiguity of early symptoms, a degree of underestimation of cases is possible.2,4,5

Author Biography

N Soofie, Sanofi Pasteur

Medical doctor and PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and Medical Head for SA at Sanofi Pasteur