Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A disease in Burkina Faso has greatly decreased following introduction of a meningococcal A conjugate vaccine in 2010, yet other serogroups continue to pose a risk of life-threatening disease. Capsule switching among epidemic-associated serogroup A N. meningitidis strains could allow these lineages to persist despite vaccination. The introduction of new strains at the national or sub-national levels could affect the epidemiology of disease.Isolates collected from invasive meningococcal disease in Burkina Faso between 2008 and 2012 were characterized by serogrouping and molecular typing. Genome sequences from a subset of isolates were used to infer phylogenetic relationships.The ST-5 clonal complex (CC5) was identified only among serogroup A isolates, which were rare after 2010. CC181 and CC11 were the most common clonal complexes after 2010, having serogroup X and W isolates, respectively. Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis showed that the CC181 isolates collected during and after the epidemic of 2010 formed a single clade that was closely related to isolates collected in Niger during 2005 and Burkina Faso during 2007. Geographic population structure was identified among the CC181 isolates, where pairs of isolates collected from the same region of Burkina Faso within a single year had less phylogenetic diversity than the CC181 isolate collection as a whole. However, the reduction of phylogenetic diversity within a region did not extend across multiple years. Instead, CC181 isolates collected during the same year had lower than average diversity, even when collected from different regions, indicating geographic mixing of strains across years. The CC11 isolates were primarily collected during the epidemic of 2012, with sparse sampling during 2011. These isolates belong to a clade that includes previously described isolates collected in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger from 2011 to 2015. Similar to CC181, reduced phylogenetic diversity was observed among CC11 isolate pairs collected from the same regions during a single year.The population of disease-associated N. meningitidis strains within Burkina Faso was highly dynamic between 2008 and 2012, reflecting both vaccine-imposed selection against serogroup A strains and potentially complex clonal waves of serogroup X and serogroup W strains.
Journal: BMC infectious diseases