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This website provides information on Invasive Meningococcal Disease (IMD), inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord caused by meningococcal bacteria, which can lead to blood poisoning (septicaemia). Where the term meningitis is used in this website it refers to IMD caused by meningococcal bacteria.


  1. World Health Organization. Meningococcal meningitis, fact sheet No.141, November 2015. Available at: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs141/en (accessed June 2017).
  2. Tully J, et al. Risk and protective factors for meningococcal disease in adolescents: matched cohort study. BMJ. 2006;332:445-50. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/332/7539/445 (accessed August 2016).
  3. Public Health England. Infection Report, Vol.10 No.37, Published 28 October 2016. Invasive meningococcal disease. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/meningococcal-disease-laboratory-confirmed-cases-in-england-and-wales
  4. European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC). Surveillance of invasive bacterial diseases in Europe 2014. Available at: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/invasive-bacterial-diseasesannual-epidemiological-report-2014-2012-data
  5. Thompson MJ, et al. Clinical recognition of meningococcal disease in children and adolescents. Lancet. 2006;367:397–403.
  6. Meningococcal disease - University of Oxford Vaccine Knowledge Project. Available at http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/meningococcal-disease
  7. Campbell H, et al, MenW Presentation in Teenagers, England, July 2015 to January 2016. Euro Surveill. 2016;21(12):pii=30175. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.12.30175
  8. Christensen H, et al. Meningococcal carriage by age: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2010;10:853-61.
  9. Memish ZA, et al. Invasive meningococcal disease and travel. J Infect Pub Health. 2010;3:143-151.
  10. The Routine Immunisation Schedule Autumn 2017. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/633693/Complete_imm_Schedule_2017.pdf (accessed October 2017).
  11. Oxford Vaccine Group. Vaccines Knowledge Project. MenACWY Vaccine. Available at http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/menacwy-vaccine. Last updated June 2017. Last accessed July 2017.
  12. Edge C, et al. Clinical diagnoses and outcomes of 4619 hospitalised cases. Journal of Infection. 2016;73(5):p427-436.
  13. NHS Choices. Meningitis. How it is spread. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/meningitis/ (Accessed January 2018).