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Genomic, Transcriptomic, and Phenotypic Analyses of Neisseria meningitidis Isolates from Disease Patients and Their Household Contacts

Abstract

Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) can cause meningococcal disease, a rapidly progressing and often fatal disease that can occur in previously healthy children. Meningococci are found in healthy carriers, where they reside in the nasopharynx as commensals. While carriage is relatively common, invasive disease, associated with hypervirulent strains, is a comparatively rare event. The basis of increased virulence in some strains is not well understood. New Zealand suffered a protracted meningococcal disease epidemic, from 1991 to 2008. During this time, a household carriage study was carried out in Auckland:

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