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Longitudinal study of meningococcal carriage rates in university entrants living in a dormitory in South Korea

 Heun Choi  ;  Hyuk Min Lee  ;  Woonji Lee  ;  Jun Hyoung Kim  ;  Hye Seong  ;  Jung Ho Kim  ;  Jin Young Ahn  ;  Su Jin Jeong  ;  Nam Su Ku  ;  Joon-Sup Yeom  ;  Kyungwon Lee  ;  Hee Soo Kim  ;  Philipp Oster  ;  Jun Yong Choi 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.16(1) : e0244716, 2021-01 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adolescent ; Adult ; Bacterial Typing Techniques ; Carrier State / diagnosis ; Carrier State / epidemiology ; Female ; Humans ; Longitudinal Studies ; Male ; Meningococcal Infections / diagnosis* ; Meningococcal Infections / epidemiology* ; Multilocus Sequence Typing ; Neisseria meningitidis / genetics ; Neisseria meningitidis / isolation & purification* ; Prospective Studies ; Republic of Korea / epidemiology ; Students ; Universities ; Young Adult
University students, especially those living in dormitories, are known to have a high risk of invasive meningococcal disease. We performed a longitudinal study to investigate the change in Neisseria meningitidis carriage rates and identify the risk factors for carriage acquisition in university students in South Korea. We recruited university entrants who were admitted to a student dormitory. Pharyngeal swabs were taken from participants at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months, and the subjects completed a questionnaire. Culture and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for species-specific ctrA and sodC genes were performed. The cultured isolates or PCR-positive samples were further evaluated for epidemiologic characterization using serogrouping, PorA typing, FetA typing, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). At the first visit, we enrolled 332 participants who were predominantly male (64.2%) with a median age of 19 years. Meningococcal carriage rates increased from 2.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9-4.4%) at baseline to 6.3% (95% CI 3.4-9.0%) at 1 month and 11.8% (95% CI 7.8-15.6%) at 3 months. Nongroupable isolates accounted for 50.0% of all isolates, with serogroup B being the next most prevalent (24.1%). In the study population, male sex (OR 2.613, 95% CI 1.145-5.961, p = 0.022) and frequent pub or club visits (OR 3.701, 95% CI 1.536-8.919, p = 0.004) were significantly associated with meningococcal carriage. Based on serotype and MLST analyses, six carriers transmitted meningococci to other study participants. N. meningitidis carriage rates among new university entrants who lived in a dormitory significantly increased within the first 3 months of dormitory stay, probably owing to the transmission of identical genotype among students. Based on the risk of meningococcal disease, meningococcal vaccination should be considered for students before dormitory admission.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Internal Medicine (내과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Laboratory Medicine (진단검사의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Ku, Nam Su(구남수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9717-4327
Kim, Jung Ho(김정호) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5033-3482
Seong, Hye(성혜) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5633-7214
Ahn, Jin Young(안진영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3740-2826
Yeom, Joon Sup(염준섭) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8940-7170
Lee, Kyungwon(이경원) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3788-2134
Lee, Hyuk Min(이혁민) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8523-4126
Jeong, Su Jin(정수진) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4025-4542
Choi, Jun Yong(최준용) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2775-3315
Choi, Heun(최흔) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9622-9381
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