Risk factors for acquisition of meningococcal carriage in the African meningitis belt.
Cooper LV., Robson A., Trotter CL., Aseffa A., Collard J-M., Daugla DM., Diallo A., Hodgson A., Jusot J-F., Omotara B., Sow S., Hassan-King M., Manigart O., Nascimento M., Woukeu A., Chandramohan D., Borrow R., Maiden MCJ., Greenwood B., Stuart JM., MenAfriCar Consortium None.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate potential risk factors for acquisition in seven countries of the meningitis belt. METHODS: Households were followed up every 2 weeks for 2 months, then monthly for a further 4 months. Pharyngeal swabs were collected from all available household members at each visit and questionnaires completed. Risks of acquisition over the whole study period and for each visit were analysed by a series of logistic regressions. RESULTS: Over the course of the study, acquisition was higher in: (i) 5-to 14-year olds, as compared with those 30 years or older (OR 3.6, 95% CI 1.4-9.9); (ii) smokers (OR 3.6, 95% CI 0.98-13); and (iii) those exposed to wood smoke at home (OR 2.6 95% CI 1.3-5.6). The risk of acquisition from one visit to the next was higher in those reporting a sore throat during the dry season (OR 3.7, 95% CI 2.0-6.7) and lower in those reporting antibiotic use (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.03-0.56). CONCLUSIONS: Acquisition of meningococcal carriage peaked in school age children. Recent symptoms of sore throat during the dry season, but not during the rainy season, were associated with a higher risk of acquisition. Upper respiratory tract infections may be an important driver of epidemics in the meningitis belt.