Title : Carriage of neisseria meningitidis among university students living in residential colleges, Dunedin, New Zealand
Invasive meningococcal disease is a severe disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis that can present as septicaemia or meningitis and may lead to disability or death. Nasopharyngeal carriage of N. meningitidis may occur in up to 15% of the general population with a higher prevalence reported among adolescents and young adults. Longitudinal studies among first year university students have shown increasing prevalence of carriage during the first year of study with those living in shared or crowded accommodation having a higher likelihood of carriage and disease. To date there has been limited N. meningitidis carriage data from New Zealand University student populations. In 2018 a series of three cases of meningococcal disease in one university residential college prompted the treatment of all residents with clearance antibiotics. Three months later a carriage survey was undertaken among first year students living in all 14 residential colleges of the university. The objectives of the study were to increase understanding of N. meningitidis carriage prevalence among students in their first year in a New Zealand residential college, to examine the presence of risk factors for carriage, and determine the impact clearance antibiotics have on carriage in the student population.
Audience take away:
- The prevalence of N. meningitidis carriage among first year university students living in a residential college in New Zealand
- What risk factors were associated with N. meningitidis carriage including whether vaping is an independent risk factor
- Following clearance antibiotics, how quickly does N. meningitidis recolonize the nasopharynx.