JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The changing epidemiology of bacterial meningitis and invasive non-meningitic bacterial disease in scotland during the period 1983-99.

We reviewed population-based laboratory reports of invasive meningococcal, pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenzae, Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Listeria monocytogenes isolates in order to examine the changing epidemiology of meningitis and invasive non-meningitic disease (INMD) caused by these 5 pathogens in the 2 periods before (1983-91) and after (1992-99) routine use of H. influenzae type B conjugate vaccine (Hib) in Scotland. Neissieria meningitidis was the most common cause of meningitis, accounting for 39.2% of cases of meningitis in 1983-91 and 47% of cases in 1992-99, followed by H. influenzae (31%), Streptococcus pneumoniae (22.4%), GBS (3.9%) and L. monocytogenes (3.5%) in 1983-91 and S. pneumoniae (36.3%), H. influenzae (7.8%), GBS (6.1%) and L. monocytogenes (2.8%) in 1992-99. The important epidemiological features of meningitis and INMD caused by these 5 pathogens between 1983-91 and 1992-99 include: 1. The incidence of bacterial meningitis due to S. pneumoniae and GBS was stable; 2. S. pneumoniae was the predominant cause of INMD in both periods; 3. The incidences of INMD caused by N. meningitidis, GBS and S. pneumoniae increased, by 27%, 55% and 56%, respectively; 4. Decreases in the incidences of bacterial meningitis (by 50%) and INMD (by 50%) due to L. monocytogenes were detected; and 5. There were dramatic reductions in the proportions of bacterial meningitis (by 92%) and INMD (by 56%) due to H. influenzae in vaccinated and non-vaccinated individuals. Continued surveillance is necessary to monitor the disease trend, population at risk, serotype distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility in order to implement appropriate public health interventions against invasive bacterial disease.

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