Skip to main content

Carriage Rate of Meningococcal Meningitis among Riyadh Population, 2002.


Meningococcal carriers are the primary source of transmission of infection under both epidemic and endemic conditions where the risk of epidemic increases with the percentage of carriers in the population. The study aims to determine the carriage rate of meningococcal meningitis among the population living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A cross-sectional study was conducted. Systematic random selection of 700 persons from 7 Primary Health Care Centers was carried out. All were interviewed face to face, and an oro-pharyngeal swab was taken from each of them.


Majority of the sample selected were Saudi (73%). Meningococcal Meningitis vaccination coverage was among 358 (51.1%) of the sample selected and the majority of them had taken the bivalent vaccine (47.4%). An almost equal number didn't know which type of vaccine they had received (48.6%). None of the cultures were positive for Neisseria Meningitidis. Only 44 (6.3%) were culture positive for Moraxella Catarrhalis serotype, and 38 (5.4%) were culture positive for other types of Neisseria rather than meningitdis.


A study with a larger sample size is recommended to provide additional evidence for the very low carriage rate in Riyadh population. Meningococcal meningitis vaccination program should be strengthened in Riyadh city, a population with low carriage rate and in turn at high epidemic risk in post Hajj period from returning Hajjis.