Mass antibiotic treatment to stop an outbreak of meningococcal disease: A molecular analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • The occurrence of three cases of meningococcal disease among children in a small community, two of whom attended the same day-care centre, prompted a programme of mass antibiotic prophylaxis. Nasopharyngeal and throat swabs were obtained on three occasions from all children registered at the day-care centre. Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis was isolated from 13 of 61 children before prophylaxis, from three children after 2 weeks, and from 19 children after 3 months. Repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR analysis identified several meningococcal strains before treatment, one of which became predominant after 3 months. Mass antibiotic prophylaxis initially suppressed meningococcal carriage, but the carriage rate subsequently rebounded.

publication date

  • October 1, 2007