Meningococcal Carriage among Healthy University Students of Gaza Strip, Palestine

Barhoum, Yaser (2017) Meningococcal Carriage among Healthy University Students of Gaza Strip, Palestine. Masters thesis, Al Azhar University Gaza.

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Background: Invasive meningococcal disease is a worldwide health problem and a life threatening illness. It is a major cause of morbidity and mortality particularly among infants and young children. On the other hand, the adolescents and young adults have the highest rates of meningococcal carriage. Therefore, they are considered to be a primary reservoir for transmission of microbes to other individuals, such as infants and young children, within their families. Objective: The main objective of this study was to estimate the rate of meningococcal nasopharyngeal carriage (N. meningitidis) and to investigate the nasopharyngeal carriage risk factors among a cohort of healthy university students in Gaza Strip, Palestine. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was performed during the period from January to November 2016. Throat swabs were collected and questionnaires were obtained from 405 apparently healthy students aged 18-24 years at three faculties of Al-Azhar university in Gaza Strip, Palestine. Swabs were cultured on enrichment and selective media. N. meningitidis was identified and typed by standard microbiology methods and conventional PCR. Results: In this study, we identified 18 out of 405 students as asymptomatic carriers of N. meningitidis (4.4%) by using conventional multiplex PCR technique targeting two conserved meningococcal genes ctrA and crgA. Though, using enrichment and selective media, no isolate was detected. Out of these 18 N. meningitidis isolates, only one isolate was positive for ctrA viii alone (5.6%), one isolate was positive for crgA (5.6%) and the rest 16 (88.8%) were positive for both genes. Genotyping of the most common five serogroups (A, B, C, Y, W135) was determined by multiplex PCR for the 18 isolates. We found that all N. meningitidis isolates were not belonging to any of the aforementioned serogroups (non-groupable or not capsulated). In our study, none of the studied risk factors was statistically significantly associated with meningococcal carriage among our tested population, although some of these risk factors showed clear association but did not reach statistical significance value. Conclusions and Recommendation: The results of this study showed that meningococcal carriage rate is lower than that recently reported in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. The low meningococcal carriage rate and the high proportion of non-groupable strains of N. meningitidis were observed in our study among university students, which could explain the low incidence rate of this disease in Gaza Strip. We recommend to extend the carriage study to other universities and other age groups for better understanding and evaluation the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease in Palestine. Keywords: Neisseria meningitidis, Asymptomatic carriers, Serogroups, University students, Risk factors, ctrA, crgA, Gaza Strip.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: أ. طارق زياد عبد حنونة
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 08:46
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2020 08:46

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