Disease Burden from Group A Neisseria meningitidis Meningitis in Hyperendemic Countries of the African Meningitis Belt

  • C. Suraratdecha
  • C. Levin
  • F. M. LaForce
Reference work entry


Neisseria meningitidis meningitis is a devastating illness characterized by the sudden onset of intense headache, high fever, nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and stiff neck. The disease has a high mortality rate and is associated with long-term neurological defects such as deafness and recurrent seizures.  Epidemics of group A meningococcal meningitis continue to pose an important public health problem for sub-Saharan Africa. The last major epidemic occurred in 1996–1997, with more than 180,000 reported cases and 20,000 deaths. During 2006 and 2007 Burkina Faso suffered more than 45,000 cases of group A meningococcal meningitis. Using the population-based incidence and bacteriologic data from Niger to estimate disease burden in seven hyperendemic countries (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, and Ethiopia), over a 10-year period, group A N. meningitidis is estimated to cause about 1.1 million cases of meningitis, 133,000 deaths, 317,000 disabilities, and 12 million disability-adjusted life years lost in the population 0- to 40-year-old  cohorts. Over the last few years a major effort has been under way to control epidemic meningococcal disease in Africa through the development, testing, licensure, and introduction of new conjugate meningococcal  vaccines. The Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between PATH and the World Health Organization, is developing an affordable meningococcal A  conjugate vaccine that will be introduced at public health scale in 2009. Wide-scale introduction of the meningococcal A conjugate vaccine is expected to eliminate these epidemics.


Bacterial Meningitis Conjugate Vaccine Neisseria Meningitidis Meningococcal Meningitis Mass Vaccination Campaign 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


 case-fatality rate


disability-adjusted life years

Men A

meningococcal A

Men Ps

meningococcal polysaccharide


 polymerase chain reaction


World Health Organization


choosing interventions that are cost effective


years lost due to disability


years of life lost


  1. Aplogan A, Batchassi E, Yakoua Y, Croisier A, Aleki A, Schlumberger M, Molina S, Sidatt M, Kaninda AV. (1997). Sante. 7(6): 384–390.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bovier P, Wyss K, Au H. (1999). Soc Sci Med. 48(9): 1205–1220.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campagne G, Schuchat A, Djibo S, Ousséini A, Cissé L, Chippaux JP. (1999). Bull World Health Organ. 77(6): 499–508.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Chalmers AJ, O’Farrell WR. (1916). J Trop Med Hyg. 29: 101–116, 117–129.Google Scholar
  5. Fourn L, Makoutodé M, Ouendo M, Tounkara B. (2004). Sante. 14(3): 153–159.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Greenwood B. (2004). In: Parry E (ed.) Principles of Medicine in Africa, 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 305–315.Google Scholar
  7. Greenwood BM, Bradley AK, Cleland PG, Haggie MH, Hassan-King M, Lewis LS, Macfarlane JT, Taqi A, Whittle HC, Bradley-Moore AM, Ansari Q. (1979). Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 73(5): 557–562.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. LaForce FM, Konde K, Viviani S, Preziosi MP. (2007). Vaccine. 25 (Suppl. 1): A97–A100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lopez AD, Salomon J, Ahmad O, Murray CJL, Mafat D. (2001). Life Tables for 191 Countries: Data, Methods, and Results. Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy Discussion Paper Series: No. 9. World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  10. Makela PH, Takala AK, Peltola H, Eskola J. (1992). J Infect Dis. 165 (Suppl. 1): S2–S6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mar ID, Denis F, Cadoz M. (1979). Pathol Biol. (Paris) 27(9): 543–548.Google Scholar
  12. Ministry of Health, Burkina Faso. (2003). Recherche operationelle sur la gratuite de la prise en charge des patients atteints de meningite cerebro-spinale au Burkina Faso.Google Scholar
  13. Mohammed I, Nasidi A, Alkali AS, Garbati MA, Ajayi-Obe EK, Audu KA, Usman A, Abdullahi S. (2000). Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 94(3): 265–270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moore PS. (1992). Clin Infect Dis. 14(2): 515–525.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Parent du Châtelet I, Gessner BD, da Silva A. (2001). Vaccine. 19(25–26): 3420–3431.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Salih MA, Ahmed HS, Karrar ZA, Kamil I, Osman KA, Palmgren H, Hofvander Y, Olcén P. (1990). Scand J Infect Dis. 22(2): 161–170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Traore Y, Njanpop-Lafourcade BM, Adjogble KL, Lourd M, Yaro S, Nacro B, Drabo A, Parent du Châtelet I, Mueller JE, Taha MK, Borrow R, Nicolas P, Alonso JM, Gessner BD. (2006). Clin Infect Dis. 43(7): 817–822.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. United Nations Population Division. (2007). World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision. United Nations, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Woods CW, Armstrong G, Sackey SO, Tetteh C, Bugri S, Perkins BA, Rosenstein NE. (2000). Lancet. 355(9197): 30–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. World Health Organization. (1998). Control of Epidemic Meningococcal Disease. WHO Practical Guidelines, 2nd ed. WHO, Geneva. Accessed 7 Mar 2008.
  21. World Health Organization. (2002). Statistical Information System (WHOSIS). Africa D Total population, births and mortality rates; Unit costs for base case analysis: WHO African Region – D, Country specific hospital costs, WHO CHOICE.Google Scholar
  22. World Health Organization. (2006). Life Tables for WHO Member States. WHO, Geneva. Accessed 7 Mar 2008.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Suraratdecha
    • 1
  • C. Levin
    • 1
  • F. M. LaForce
    • 2
  1. 1.PATHSeattleUSA
  2. 2.PATH, Batiment Avant CentreFerney-VoltaireFrance

Personalised recommendations