Adult Disease Burden and Distribution of Pneumococcal and Meningococcal Disease Serotypes (AGEDD)

IVAC would like to highlight key findings from our Adult Global Estimation of Disease Burden and Distribution of Serotypes of Serious Pneumococcal and Meningococcal Disease (AGEDD) study to present current evidence on the global state of pneumococcal and meningococcal disease burden and distribution in older children (over five years of age) and adults, and to emphasize the continued need for measures to prevent this deadly disease.

Key Findings to Date:

Current Research Gaps

  • There are very few studies reporting data on meningitis incidence in adults and older children (over five years of age) in most regions of the world.  There are even fewer that can differentiate pneumococcal meningitis incidence from meningococcal meningitis incidence. While some studies document many cases of adult meningitis, especially during outbreaks, incidence rates are rarely available due to difficulty in obtaining data on the population at risk.

What We Do Know

  • A large proportion of pneumococcal meningitis cases in adults and older children are fatal in all regions of the world. The proportion of people with pneumococcal meningitis that die from the disease range from 15% in North America to 42% in Africa.
  • Africa and Asia bear the disproportionate burden of meningitis mortality globally. The estimated number of meningitis deaths in adults and older children in each of these two regions alone exceeds that in the rest of the world combined.
  • Among persons over 5 years of age, adults over 65 years of age are at the greatest risk of pneumococcal meningitis.
  • Vaccinating infants with pneumococcal conjugate vaccine indirectly protects adults from pneumococcal meningitis by reducing transmission of these deadly pathogens.  The serotypes in current pneumococcal conjugate vaccines being administered to infants cover over 50% of the types of serious pneumococcal disease in adults, including meningitis.

Despite limited availability of meningitis incidence data, preliminary findings from the AGEDD study suggest that there is a sufficiently large meningitis disease burden, particularly in Africa and Asia. Introduction and scale-up of pneumococcal vaccines in infants can prevent pneumococcal disease, including pneumococcal meningitis, from infecting their parents and grandparents.

Continuing research to assess meningitis morbidity and mortality among older children and adults will allow better resource prioritization to address pneumococcal and meningococcal disease in these populations and to assess the potential impact of prevention and control interventions, such as pediatric vaccination.

To access AGEDD research posters, click on the links below: