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Wavy Abstract Background

Together with an international group of experts we reviewed and updated guidelines for invasive menigococcal disease prophylaxis for European Union countries

Guidelines for prophylaxis of meningococcal disease

Guidelines for prophylaxis of meningococcal disease

Between 2005 and 2012 I was responsible for surveillance of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in Poland. For this reason James Stuart, an experienced British epidemiologist, invited me to a small consortium of experts representing different institutions and fields of expertise. We surveyed EU Member States on their current guidelines and identified inconsistencies. As a result, we were commissioned by the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) to prepare evidence based guidelines, which we did by reviewing existing evidence using the GRADE criteria. In the process we became friends and learned a lot from each other!

Why does it matter?

Invasive meningococcal disease is rare, but can have serious outcomes. Therefore each country has procedures on giving chemoprophylaxis (antibiotic usually in a single dose) or vaccination to close contacts of a case. These national guidelines should be based on the best available evidence, but they were often not, when we started our work. Some countries recommended antibiotics without proven effectiveness for chemoprophylaxis or treatment of passengers of planes or buses, without any evidence. Therefore institutions like ECDC or WHO are often developing evidence-based guidelines so the country can use them. These guidelines need to be often updated, since new evidence can come or new treatments or types of vaccines.

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