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Surveillance for invasive infection due to Neisseria meningitidis

Status: Ongoing

Why are we doing this?

Meningococcal infections rank second in Canada among bacteria causing life-threatening infection in children and adolescents.  These infections can result in permanent complications such deafness, amputations and neurological deficits and can be fatal. 

Prevention of meningococcal infections using vaccines is complicated by the existence of multiple serogroups and insufficient epidmiologic data on which to evaluate effectiveness of vaccination programs. The development of newer vaccines containing multiple serotypes offer tremendous potential to improve the prevention of meningococcal disease in Canadian adults and children.

Study Objectives

  • To characterize epidemiology and trends in invasive menigococcal disease
  • To evaluate effectiveness of meningococcal conjugate vaccines and impact on disease burden
  • To compare components of care for patients with suspected meningitis to current care guidelines
  • To determine the potential for disease with other serotypes not included in current vaccines.

Eligible cases

In order to be eligible for inclusion in this study, the patient must:

  • have Neisseria meningitidis identified in a sample from a normally sterile site (eg. blood, cerebrospinal fluid)
  • live in the study area (Toronto, Peel, Durham, York, Simcoe, Halton and Hamilton regions) as determined by postal code of residence
  • be hospitalized for their infection

Whenever a N. meningitidis isolate is identified from a sterile site, it is reported to the study office and a research associate collects data from the medical chart. All information is entered into a data sheet which is identified with an anonymous code number. No one will be able to identify the study information as belonging to any individual.


All data forms with only study code number will be submitted to the IMPACT central office in British Columbia for inclusion in aggregated analysis of data from across Canada. Isolate studies will be performed by Health Canada at the National Microbiology Laboratory. Only the study code will link isolate and case report forms.


Canadian Paediatric Society

Collaborating sites


This study has been approved by the Research Ethics Boards at all participating hospitals.