Journal Article
Systematic Review
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Carriage prevalence of Neisseria meningitidis in China, 2005-2022: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

INTRODUCTION: Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a major cause of meningitis and septicemia. Most people are infected with latent infections or are carriers. We aimed to estimate the carriage prevalence of Nm in China.

METHODS: We did a systematic review of published work to assess the prevalence of meningococcal carriage in China. The quality assessment was conducted by the risk of bias tool according to Damian Hoy's study. We estimated pooled proportions of carriage and its 95% confidence interval (95% CI) using fixed effect model for studies with low heterogeneity and random effect model for studies with moderate or high heterogeneity. Subgroup analyses were also conducted by region and age group.

RESULTS: In total, 115 studies were included. The quality evaluation grades of all included documents were medium or high grade. The weighted proportion of carriage was 2.86% (95% CI: 2.25-3.47%, I2 : 97.7%, p = 0). The carriage prevalence of Nm varied between provinces, ranged from 0.00% (95% CI: 0.00-0.66%) to 15.50% (95% CI: 14.01-16.99%). Persons aged 15 years and older had the highest carriage 4.38% (95% CI: 3.15-5.62%, I2: 95.4%, p < 0.0001), and children under 6 years of age had the lowest carriage 1.01% (95% CI: 0.59-1.43%, I2: 74.4%, p < 0.0001). In positive carriers, serogroup B (41.62%, 95% CI: 35.25-48.00%, I2 : 98.6%, p = 0) took up the highest proportion, and serogroup X (0.02%, 95% CI: 0.00-0.09%, I2 : 0.00%, p = 1) accounted for the lowest proportion.

CONCLUSION: The meningococcal carriage in China was estimated low and varied by region and age group. Understanding the epidemiology and transmission dynamics of meningococcal infection in insidious spreaders is essential for optimizing the meningococcal immunization strategies of the country.

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