Background: Invasive meningococcal disease remains a rare but deadly infection in Canada. New serogroup B vaccines may offer the potential for prevention and control. This report examines the disease burden caused by serogroup B invasive meningococcal infections.
Methods: From 2002 to 2011, active, population-based metropolitan area surveillance for adult and pediatric hospital admissions for adult and pediatric hospital admissions for laboratory-confirmed infection with Neisseria meningitidis, was conducted by the 12 centers of the Canadian Immunization Monitoring Program, Active.
Results: A total of 769 invasive meningococcal cases occurred from 2002 to 2011; 54% (n = 413) in children with a peak incidence of 6.16 (95% confidence interval: 3.18–10.76) per 100,000 in children aged <1 year in 2009. Serogroup B accounted for the largest proportion of cases and had the highest incidence of all serogroups across all ages, with a peak incidence of 0.31 (0.23–0.40) per 100,000 in 2007. Serogroup B case fatality rate was 4.3% in children, and 21% of pediatric survivors had sequelae. B:17:P1.19 ST-269 was the most frequently detected antigenic type.
Conclusions: Serogroup B invasive meningococcal infections caused substantial morbidity and mortality and are the leading cause of invasive meningococcal disease in Canada. The proportion of cases potentially preventable with the new serogroup B vaccines should be evaluated to determine whether universal immunization programs are warranted.