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Meningococcal Disease Surveillance in Men Who Have Sex with Men — United States, 2015–2016
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  • Pubmed ID:
    30260947
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6188121
  • Description:
    Meningococcal disease is a rare, but serious, bacterial infection that progresses rapidly and can be life-threatening, even with prompt antibiotic treatment. Men who have sex with men (MSM) have previously been reported to be at increased risk for meningococcal disease compared with other men, and recent outbreaks of serogroup C meningococcal disease among MSM have occurred (1). However, the epidemiology of meningococcal disease among MSM in the United States is not well described, in part, because information about MSM has not historically been collected as part of routine meningococcal disease surveillance. To better characterize and identify risk factors for meningococcal disease in general, supplementary data and isolates have been collected since 2015 through enhanced meningococcal disease surveillance activities. During 2015-2016, 271 cases of meningococcal disease in men aged ≥18 years were reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) in 45 states participating in this enhanced surveillance. Forty-eight (17.7%) cases were in men identified as MSM, including 17 (37.8%) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Among MSM, 39 (84.8%) cases were caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C, whereas this serogroup was responsible for only 16.4% of cases among men who were not known to be MSM (non-MSM). Despite improvements in surveillance, MSM likely remain underascertained among men with meningococcal disease. Improved surveillance data are needed to understand the prevalence of and risk for meningococcal disease among MSM and inform policy and prevention strategies. Vaccination with quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine is recommended for the control of meningococcal disease outbreaks caused by serogroups A, C, W, or Y, including during outbreaks among MSM; in addition, all persons aged ≥2 months with HIV infection should receive MenACWY vaccine because of the increased risk for meningococcal disease.

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