Interconnected clusters of invasive meningococcal disease due to neisseria meningitidis serogroup C ST11 (cc11), involving bisexuals and men who have sex with men, with discos and gay-venues hotspots of transmission, Tuscany, Italy, 2015 to 2016

Alessandro Miglietta, Cecilia Fazio, Arianna Neri, Patrizio Pezzotti, Francesco Innocenti, Chiara Azzari, Gian Maria Rossolini, Maria Moriondo, Francesco Nieddu, Stefania Iannazzo, Fortunato D’ancona, Francesco Paolo Maraglino, Raniero Guerra, Giovanni Rezza, Fabio Voller, Paola Stefanelli

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In 2015 an increased incidence of invasive meningococcal disease due to serogroup-C (MenC) occurred in Tuscany, Italy. This led the Regional Health Authority of Tuscany to implement a reactive immunisation campaign and to launch an epidemiological field investigation aiming to address targeted immunisation interventions. In 2011–14, 10 MenC cases had been reported compared with 62 cases in 2015–16. The case fatality rate was 21% (n = 13) and 51 cases (82.3%) were confirmed as C:P1.5–1,10–8:F3–6:ST-11(cc11). Overall, 17 clusters were recognised. Six discos and four gay-venues were found to have a role as transmission-hotspots, having been attended by 20 and 14 cases in the 10 days before symptoms onset. Ten and three cases occurred, respectively, among men who have sex with men (MSM) and bisexual individuals, who were involved in 11 clusters. In addition, heterosexual cases (n = 5) attending gay-venues were also found. Secondary cases were not identified. Molecular typing indicated close relationship with MenC clusters recently described among gay, bisexual and other MSM in Europe and the United States, suggesting a possible international spread of the serogroup-C-variant P1.5–1,10–8:F3–6:ST-11(cc11) in this population-group; however, epidemiological links were not identified. In December 2016, a targeted vaccination campaign involving discos and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) associations was implemented. During 2017, 10 cases of MenC occurred, compared with 32 and 30 cases reported in 2015 and 2016 respectively, suggesting the effectiveness of the reactive and targeted immunisation programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700636
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Aug 23 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Virology

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