Meningococcal Meningitis: Clonal Waves of Colonisation and Disease in the Meningitis Belt of Sub-Saharan Africa

Bacterial meningitis is a medical emergency and remains one of the major health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. The three most important agents are Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae. All three pathogens are common colonizers of the human nasopharynx, invasive disease is usually a rare event.

Our research

The bacterial meningitis project involves longitudinal studies of the molecular epidemiology of comparatively carriage and disease of N. meningititdis and S. pneumoniae. The studies are being carried out in Northern Ghana and Burkina Faso and aim to enhance the understanding of the dynamics of meningitis epidemics in the African Meningitis Belt. The results provide important background information for the evaluation and introduction of new conjugate vaccines against meningococcal and pneumococcal infections in Africa.


Areesanan A. Studies on recombinant Strongyloides ratti prolyl oligopetidase and Plasmodial cystein-rich protective antigens. Basel: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Insitute, 2020. MSc Thesis

Borel N et al. wIRA: hyperthermia as a treatment option for intracellular bacteria, with special focus on Chlamydiae and Mycobacteria. Int J Hyperthermia. 2020;37:373-383. DOI: 10.1080/02656736.2020.1751312

Röltgen K, Pluschke G, Spencer J.S, Brennan P.J, Avanzi C. The immunology of other mycobacteria: M. ulcerans, M. leprae. Semin Immunopathol. 2020;42(3):333-353. DOI: 10.1007/s00281-020-00790-4

Röltgen K, Pluschke G. Buruli ulcer: the efficacy of innate immune defense may be a key determinant for the outcome of infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. Front Microbiol. 2020;11:1018. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01018

Tamborrini M et al. Vaccination with virosomally formulated recombinant CyRPA elicits protective antibodies against Plasmodium falciparum parasites in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models. Vaccines. 2020;5:9. DOI: 10.1038/s41541-020-0158-9