Spatial dynamics of meningococcal meningitis in Niger: Observed patterns in comparison with measles

N. Bharti, H. Broutin, R. F. Grais, M. J. Ferrari, A. Djibo, A. J. Tatem, B. T. Grenfell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Throughout the African meningitis belt, meningococcal meningitis outbreaks occur only during the dry season. Measles in Niger exhibits similar seasonality, where increased population density during the dry season probably escalates measles transmission. Because meningococcal meningitis and measles are both directly transmitted, we propose that host aggregation also impacts the transmission of meningococcal meningitis. Although climate affects broad meningococcal meningitis seasonality, we focus on the less examined role of human density at a finer spatial scale. By analysing spatial patterns of suspected cases of meningococcal meningitis, we show fewer absences of suspected cases in districts along primary roads, similar to measles fadeouts in the same Nigerien metapopulation. We further show that, following periods during no suspected cases, districts with high reappearance rates of meningococcal meningitis also have high measles reintroduction rates. Despite many biological and epidemiological differences, similar seasonal and spatial patterns emerge from the dynamics of both diseases. This analysis enhances our understanding of spatial patterns and disease transmission and suggests hotspots for infection and potential target areas for meningococcal meningitis surveillance and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1356-1365
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology


  • Epidemiology
  • measles (rubeola)
  • meningitis - bacterial
  • spatial modelling
  • vaccine-preventable diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial dynamics of meningococcal meningitis in Niger: Observed patterns in comparison with measles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this