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ObjectiveSerogroup W and Y invasive meningococcal disease increased globally from 2000 onwards. Responding to a rapid increase in serogroup W clonal complex 11 (W:cc11) invasive meningococcal disease, the UK replaced an adolescent booster dose of meningococcal C conjugate vaccine with quadrivalent MenACWY conjugate vaccine in 2015. By 2018, the vaccine coverage in the eligible school cohorts aged 14 to 19 years was 84%. We assessed the impact of the MenACWY vaccination programme on meningococcal carriage.MethodsAn observational study of culture-defined oropharyngeal meningococcal carriage prevalence before and after the start of the MenACWY vaccination programme in UK school students, aged 15 to 19 years, using two cross-sectional studies: 2014 to 2015 "UKMenCar4" and 2018 "Be on the TEAM" (ISRCTN75858406).ResultsA total of 10 625 participants preimplementation and 13 434 postimplementation were included. Carriage of genogroups C, W, and Y (combined) decreased from 2.03 to 0.71% (OR 0.34 [95% CI 0.27-0.44], p DiscussionThe UK MenACWY vaccination programme reduced carriage acquisition of genogroup and serogroup Y and W meningococci and sustained low levels of genogroup C carriage. These data support the use of quadrivalent MenACWY conjugate vaccine for indirect (herd) protection.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Publication Date



Oxford Vaccine Group, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford, UK; Monash University, Monash Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


UKMenCar4 and ‘Be on the TEAM’ Study Collaborators