EMGM Carriage Working Group
Convener: Dr Georgina Tzanakaki, Head, Hellenic National Meningitis Reference Laboratory, Greece, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-convener: Dr Caroline Trotter, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, UK, email@example.com.
Identifying the meningococcal lineages circulating in the carrier state across Europe, harmonizing the methodology for characterization of the isolates, and the creation of a carrier strain collection centre has been a major focus of the EMGM's activities.
The achievements of members of the group include:
- Harmonisation of isolate characterization from previous studies.
- Development of a new PCR-based method for rapid discrimination of meningococcal clones isolated from carriers (VNTR-PCR).
- Measurement of multiple carriage in individuals.
- Establishment of the duration of carriage for defined meningococcal lineages.
- Definition of hyperinvasive and avirulent lineages.
- Assembly of a defined meningococcal collection from carriers.
Further investigations may include:
- Additional carriage studies for longer periods of time in order to determine the duration of carriage and how this can vary for specific clones.
- to further develop and harmonise methods for carriage studies (including more European countries) in order to ascertain the geographical component of the diversity of carriage strains in relation to the introduction of meningococcal vaccines and the estimation of the herd effect.
- To study the effect of vaccination in individual carriers along with serological analyses.