Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Invasive meningococcal disease surveillance in Europe combines isolate characterisation and epidemiological data to support public health intervention. A representative European Meningococcal Strain Collection (EMSC) of IMD isolates was obtained, and whole genome sequenced to characterise 799 EMSC isolates from the epidemiological year July 2011-June 2012. To establish a genome library (GL), the isolate information was deposited in the database. Genomes were curated and annotated at 2,429 meningococcal loci, including those defining clonal complex, capsule, antigens, and antimicrobial resistance. Most genomes contained genes encoding B (n = 525; 65.7%) or C (n = 163; 20.4%) capsules; isolates were genetically highly diverse, with >20 genomic lineages, five of which comprising 60.7% (n = 485) of isolates. There were >350 antigenic fine-types: 307 were present once, the most frequent (P1.7-2,4:F5-1) comprised 8% (n = 64) of isolates. Each genome was characterised for Bexsero Antigen Sequence Typing (BAST): 25.5% (n = 204) of isolates contained alleles encoding the fHbp and/or the PorA VR1 vaccine component, but most genomes (n = 513; 64.2%) did not contain the NadA component. EMSC-GL will support an integrated surveillance of disease-associated genotypes in Europe, enabling the monitoring of hyperinvasive lineages, outbreak identification, and supporting vaccine programme implementation.

Original publication




Journal article


Euro Surveill

Publication Date





Neisseria meningitidis, genome library, monitor vaccine coverage, surveillance, track antimicrobial susceptibility, Europe, Genes, Bacterial, Genetic Loci, Genetic Variation, Genome, Bacterial, Genomic Library, Genomics, Genotype, Humans, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Meningococcal Infections, Molecular Epidemiology, Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria meningitidis, Serogroup B, Population Surveillance, Serogroup, Whole Genome Sequencing