Pediatric Bacterial Meningitis Surveillance in Niger: Increased Importance of Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup C, and a Decrease in Streptococcus pneumoniae Following 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine Introduction


Meningitis is endemic in Niger. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) were introduced in 2008 and 2014, respectively. Vaccination campaign against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A was carried out in 2010-2011. We evaluated changes in pathogen distribution using data from hospital-based surveillance in Niger from 2010 through 2016.


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from children <5 years old with suspected meningitis were tested to detect vaccine-preventable bacterial pathogens. Confirmatory identification and serotyping/grouping of Streptococcus pneumoniae, N. meningitidis, and H. influenzae were done. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing and whole genome sequencing were performed on S. pneumoniae isolates.


The surveillance included 2580 patients with suspected meningitis, of whom 80.8% (2085/2580) had CSF collected. Bacterial meningitis was confirmed in 273 patients: 48% (131/273) was N. meningitidis, 45% (123/273) S. pneumoniae, and 7% (19/273) H. influenzae. Streptococcus pneumoniae meningitis decreased from 34 in 2014, to 16 in 2016. PCV13 serotypes made up 88% (7/8) of S. pneumoniae meningitis prevaccination and 20% (5/20) postvaccination. Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (NmC) was responsible for 59% (10/17) of serogrouped N. meningitidis meningitis. Hib caused 67% (2/3) of the H. influenzae meningitis isolates serotyped. Penicillin resistance was found in 16% (4/25) of S. pneumoniae isolates. Sequence type 217 was the most common lineage among S. pneumoniae isolates.


Neisseria meningitidis and S. pneumoniae remain important causes of meningitis in children in Niger. The decline in the numbers of S. pneumoniae meningitis post-PCV13 is encouraging and should continue to be monitored. NmC is the predominant serogroup causing N. meningitidis meningitis. Read Publication