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Molecular technics to evaluate serotypes/serogroup and antibiotic resistance genes in bacterial meningitis in the ABC region of São Paulo state


Bacterial meningitis is a disease of great impact in Public Health, and is caused mainly by Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae. These bacteria have great variation in their polysaccharide capsule, which differentiates them in serogroups or serotypes. The available vaccines are composed of capsular polysaccharides conjugated to a carrier protein. They are effective in inducing memory immune response, however, they generate serotype/serogroup-dependent response and thus may promote replacement of serotypes/serogroups in population. Therefore, it is very important the constant surveillance of circulating strains to determine strategies to combat the agents that cause bacterial meningitis, such as modification in the vaccination schedules or the composition of vaccine offered to the population. In order to determine the serotypes/serogroups of the bacterial etiological agents, techniques such as the agglutination reaction are used. Despite providing the necessary information, they require specific antisera that represent a high cost, besides being very time-consuming and the results are subjectively interpreted. Therefore, the use of modern techniques, such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, has been applied to identify the species causing meningitis as well as their serotypes/serogroups. PCR has high sensitivity and specificity, produces faster results because it does not require previous growth of the microorganism and provides more complete information than the standard techniques. Therefore, this project has as main objective to test the PCR technique to evaluate the serotypes/serogroups of the 3 main bacteria that cause meningitis in the 7 cities of the great São Paulo, known as the great ABC, which were attended by the Adolfo Lutz Institute of Santo André. This could promote important epidemiological information for the region. (AU)

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