Surveillance report Open Access
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Routine notification of invasive meningococcal disease has a long tradition in the Czech Republic: mortality data are available from 1921 and morbidity data from 1943. The collection of Neisseria meningitidis strains kept in the NRL for Meningococcal Infections in Prague dates from 1970 onwards, and represents more than 3500 strains isolated from invasive disease and their contacts, from healthy carriers and from respiratory infection. Analysis of these strains showed that the Czech meningococcal population is different from that seen in western Europe. In 1993, the incidence serogroup C meningococcal disease increased and was associated with the emergence of the hypervirulent complex Neisseria meningitidis C, ST-11, ET-15/37, and caused an increase in the incidence of invasive meningococcal disease which peaked in 1995 (2.2/100 000). A vaccination strategy targeting the part of the population at highest risk of invasive meningococcal disease was adopted in the country.


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