Meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis) has 13 known serotypes with groups A, B, and C being the most common causes of disease worldwide. Meningococcal A epidemics kill several thousand people each year in the African meningitis belt, mainly affecting infants and young children. Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics; however, even with adequate antibiotic treatment, at least 10 percent of patients die within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, while a further 10 to 20 percent of survivors develop severe disabilities. Existing multivalent vaccines are expensive and, while effective against the serotypes included, do not cover all the disease causing strains in the developing world.
Whom and Where Are We Not Vaccinating? Coverage After the Introduction of a New Conjugate Vaccine Against Group A Meningococcus in Niger in 2010 (2012)
An article that evaluates the first two phases of the introduction campaign of a new conjugate vaccine against meningococcus in Niger.
Can We Defeat Meningococcal Disease in Low and Middle Income Countries? (2012)
An article that discusses the challenges of achieving control of meningococcal disease in low- and middle-income countries.
Featured PATH resources
Hope for Less Than 50 Cents a Dose: A Revolutionary Model for Developing Low-Cost Vaccines (2011)
A fact sheet that describes the model employed by the Meningitis Vaccine Project to develop a safe, affordable, and long-lasting vaccine to combat Group A meningococcal epidemics in Africa.
Meningitis Vaccine Project
A website that provides information on the Meningitis Vaccine Project, meningitis, and vaccines against the disease.
Page last updated: November 2012.