Invasive Infection caused by Neisseria Meningitidis Serogroup B

Invasive Infection caused by Neisseria Meningitidis Serogroup B

Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B (often referred to as meningococcus B) is a bacteria that can cause serious invasive infections, including meningitis and sepsis, which can result in death. Meningococcal serogroup B is a common cause of invasive meningococcal disease in Europe, Canada, and the USA.

Invasive meningococcal disease occurs when the bacteria gets into a person’s bloodstream and can cause serious health effects, such as meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord), sepsis (a widespread infection of the blood), and pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs). The symptoms of meningococcal serogroup B infection may include high fever, headache, stiff neck, and a skin rash.

Meningococcal serogroup B can be spread from person to person by very close contact, such as living in the same household or day care setting. Vaccines are available in some countries to help protect against meningococcal serogroup B; however, less than 10% of countries worldwide have introduced the vaccine.


The following steps can be taken to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Get vaccinated if available
  • Practice good hygiene, especially handwashing
  • Do not share items such as drinking glasses, straws, cups, eating utensils, etc. with other people
  • Avoid contact with people who are known to be infected with meningococcal serogroup B
  • Avoid crowded places and people who are coughing or sneezing

If you or someone you know has signs and symptoms of meningococcal serogroup B infection, you should seek immediate medical care. Early treatment is important for the best outcome.