In 2015, Niger reported the largest epidemic of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (NmC) meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. The NmC epidemic coincided with serogroup W (NmW) cases during the epidemic season, resulting in a total of 9,367 meningococcal cases through June 2015. To clarify the phylogenetic association, genetic evolution, and antibiotic determinants of the meningococcal strains in Niger, we sequenced the genomes of 102 isolates from this epidemic, comprising 81 NmC and 21 NmW isolates. The genomes of 82 isolates were completed, and all 102 were included in the analysis. All NmC isolates had sequence type 10217, which caused the outbreaks in Nigeria during 2013-2014 and for which a clonal complex has not yet been defined. The NmC isolates from Niger were substantially different from other NmC isolates collected globally. All NmW isolates belonged to clonal complex 11 and were closely related to the isolates causing recent outbreaks in Africa.
Journal: Emerging infectious diseases