Invasive meningococcal disease in Italy: from analysis of national data to an evidence-based vaccination strategy

S. Igidbashian, L. Bertizzolo, A. Tognetto, C. Azzari, P. Bonanni, P. Castiglia, M. Conversano, S. Esposito, G. Gabutti, G. Icardi, P.L. Lopalco, F. Vitale, S. Parisi, G. Checcucci Lisi

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Introduction: Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) is one of the most severe vaccine-preventable disease not yet under control. In Italy, although different anti-meningococcal vaccines are available, their offer among regions is heterogeneous. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology of IMD in Italy based on analysis of national surveillance data for 2011-2017 to optimize the vaccination strategy. Methods: IMD surveillance data from the Italian National Health Institute were analysed. Microsoft Excel was used to present trend analysis, stratifying by age and serogroups. Results: In Italy, during the period 2011-2017, the incidence of IMD increased from 0.25 cases/100,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 0.33 cases/100,000 in 2017. Most cases after 2012 were caused by non-B serogroups. The number of cases in subjects aged 25-64 years increased steadily after 2012 (36 cases in 2011, 79 in 2017), mostly due to non-B serogroups, representing more than 65% of cases in those aged 25+ years. Conclusions: In the period from 2011 to 2017, the incidence of IMDs increased in Italy. The increase, probably due also to a better surveillance, highlights the importance of the disease in the adult population and the high level of circulation of non-B serogroups in particular after 2012. Our analysis supports an anti-meningococcal vaccination plan in Italy that should include the highest number of preventable serogroups and be aimed at vaccinating a wider population through a multicohort strategy. ©2020 Pacini Editore SRL, Pisa, Italy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E152-E161
JournalJ Prev Med Hyg
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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