Aim: To describe the dynamics in the incidence of childhood invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in Israel during a 22-year period (1989-2010). Methods: A longitudinal prospective surveillance in all 27 medical centers with pediatric services in Israel. All cases of children <15 years old with positive blood/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) culture for Neisseria meningitidis were reported. Demographic, clinical, and bacteriological data were recorded. Meningococcal vaccine was not routinely given to Israeli children during the study period. Results: The mean age ± standard deviation (SD) among the 743 cases was 40.7 ± 40.2 months. The mean yearly incidence/100,000 was 2.0 ± 0.8. Age-specific incidences were 8.7 ± 2.8, 2.9 ± 1.5, and 0.8 ± 0.5 for children <1, 1-4, and >4 years old, respectively. The overall incidence decreased significantly from 3.7 in 1989 to 1.5 in 2010. Meningitis constituted 69.2 % of all cases. The most common serogroups were: B (76.9 %), C (10.9 %), Y (8.0 %), and W135 (2.9 %). 78.6 % of all serogroup B isolates were from children <5 years old (p < 0.01). Serogroup C was found mainly in children ≥5 years old (63.4 %). The case fatality rates (CFRs) for children <1, 1-4, >4 years old, and the total study population were 9.2, 12.3, 7.7, and 9.9 %, respectively. CFRs were higher for children without meningitis (14.9 %) compared to children with meningitis (7.9 %) (p < 0.01). Conclusions: Overall, and for serogroups B and W135, childhood IMD rates decreased significantly in Israel during the study period, without routine vaccine usage. The most common serogroup in all age groups was B, which was most prevalent in children <5 years old. No change in the trend of the overall CFR was noted during the study period.
- Meningococcal disease