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The study presents the analysis of whole genome sequencing (WGS) data for Neisseria meningitidis serogroup Y isolates collected in the Czech Republic and their comparison to other countries. The aim of the study was to determine whether there are lineages of N. meningitidis serogroup Y in the Czech Republic genetically related to foreign ones that have been causing an increase of the morbidity and the mortality of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) world-wide recently. The WGS data of 43 Czech N. meningitidis Y isolates, 35 from IMD and 8 from healthy carriers were analysed. Due to the potential of meningococcal B vaccines to induce protection against non-B serogroups, the coverage of Czech isolates of N. meningitidis Y by these vaccines was studied. The WGS data of Czech, European and non-European isolates of N. meningitidis serogroup Y were compared. WGS assigned 36 isolates of N. meningitidis Y to five clonal complexes: cc23, cc92, cc167, cc103, and cc174, while seven isolates remained unassigned to any clonal complexes (ccUA). Eighteen invasive isolates belonged to clonal complex cc23, which was detected throughout the studied years. The occurrence of cc23 was recorded in all age groups of IMD patients, with the highest found in those aged 15-19 years. On the phylogenetic network isolates of cc23 form a separate lineage, distinct from all other isolates of N. meningitidis Y. The remaining isolates were assigned to other clonal complexes and have very low relatedness to cc23 isolates and to each other. The comparison with foreign WGS data showed that within the main genetic lineages, which are defined by clonal complexes, Czech isolates of N. meningitidis Y, similar to European ones, mostly cluster together and form geographical sublineages. WGS analysis showed the population of Czech N. meningitidis Y isolates as relatively heterogeneous, containing a large number of genetic lineages. The Czech isolates of N. meningitidis Y follow the trend observed for European isolates. Our result was one of the bases for updating the recommended vaccination strategy in the Czech Republic.


Michal Honskus, Zuzana Okonji, Martin Musilek, Pavla Krizova. Whole genome sequencing of Neisseria meningitidis Y isolates collected in the Czech Republic in 1993-2018. PloS one. 2022;17(3):e0265066

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PMID: 35271677

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