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We found high levels of symptomless carriage of a hyperinvasive Neisseria meningitidis strain (electrophoretic type 37 [ET-37], serogroup W-135) during a vaccine trial in Gambian children in 1996. Serogroup C, ET-37 complex meningococci cause 30-40% of meningococcal disease in countries such as the UK, and have a point prevalence of 0.5-1.0%. The recent Haj-associated spread of serogroup W-135, ET-37 complex meningococci, which has been accompanied by numerous secondary cases, might be explained by the apparently raised carriage rates reported here.

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Africa, Africa South Of The Sahara, Biology, Central Nervous System, Central Nervous System Effects, Clinical Research, Clinical Trials, Cohort Analysis, Developing Countries, English Speaking Africa, Gambia, Physiology, Research Methodology, Research Report, Vaccines, Western Africa, Bacterial Vaccines, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Gambia, Humans, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Neisseria meningitidis, Serotyping, Vaccination