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Revista chilena de pediatría

versión impresa ISSN 0370-4106


WILHELM B, Jan  y  VILLENA M, Rodolfo. Meningococcal disease history and epidemiology. Rev. chil. pediatr. [online]. 2012, vol.83, n.6, pp.533-539. ISSN 0370-4106.

The meningococcus or Neisseria meningitidis is a bacterium that lives exclusively in the pharynx of some people, which occasionally can cause diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, arthritis and sepsis. There are several strains of Neisseria meningitidis, like A, B, C, Y and W-135 serogroups. Historically, group C strain had been the most common in Chile, but the B group became subsequently dominant. Qver the past six months, we have seen an increase in cases of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup w-135, mainly in the Santiago Metropolitan Region, as well as an increased number of B Meningococcal cases in Yalparaiso. As the meningococcus epidemiology is unpredictable and dynamic, with short-term changes and outbreaks every 8 to 12 years, it requires a systematic and strict close observation in each country. The aim of this article is to review the history and epidemiology of meningococcal disease in light of current medical knowledge. To address the increasing number of cases, it is necessary to educate health teams and people about strategies to diagnose and treat this disease as early as possible, including effective preventive measures and decision-making regarding the use of specific vaccines.

Palabras clave : Neisseria meningitidis; serotype w-135; Epidemiology.

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