Volume 34, Issue 48, Pages 5819-5990 (21 November 2016)
Meningococcal disease in the Asia-Pacific region: Findings and recommendations from the Global Meningococcal Initiative
Ray Borrow, Jin-Soo Lee, Julio A. Vázquez, Godwin Enwere, Muhamed-Kheir Taha, Hajime Kamiya, Hwang Min Kim, Dae Sun Jo, the Global Meningococcal Initiative
The Global Meningococcal Initiative (GMI) is a global expert group that includes scientists, clinicians, and public health officials with a wide range of specialties. The purpose of the Initiative is to promote the global prevention of meningococcal disease (MD) through education, research, and cooperation. The first Asia-Pacific regional meeting was held in November 2014. The GMI reviewed the epidemiology of MD, surveillance, and prevention strategies, and outbreak control practices from participating countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Although, in general, MD is underreported in this region, serogroup A disease is most prominent in low-income countries such as India and the Philippines, while Taiwan, Japan, and Korea reported disease from serogroups C, W, and Y. China has a mixed epidemiology of serogroups A, B, C, and W.
Perspectives from countries outside of the region were also provided to provide insight into lessons learnt. Based on the available data and meeting discussions, a number of challenges and data gaps were identified and, as a consequence, several recommendations were formulated: strengthen surveillance; improve diagnosis, typing and case reporting; standardize case definitions; develop guidelines for outbreak management; and promote awareness of MD among healthcare professionals, public health officials, and the general public.