Paediatric Investigators Collaborative Network on Infections in Canada (PICNIC) study of the current landscape of invasive meningococcal disease in children Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background: Immunizations have led to a decrease in the incidence of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) in Canada, but this infection still leads to significant morbidity and mortality. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the burden of illness and management of IMD in paediatric hospitals. Methods: Data were collected on all cases of IMD in eight paediatric hospitals from 2013 to 2017. Results: There were 17 cases of IMD. Three of eight hospitals had no cases. Just over half of the cases were serogroup B (n=9); a quarter (n=4) were serogroup W; less than a quarter (n=3) were serogroup Y; and one was unknown. Two infected children were not started on antibiotics until day one and day five after the initial blood culture was collected, but had uneventful recoveries. Six cases required admission to intensive care units; two died. Six cases had probable or proven meningitis. Thrombocytopenia was documented in seven cases. All cases had elevated C-reactive protein levels. Seven children received more than seven days of antibiotics; of these seven, only two had complications that justified prolonged therapy (subdural empyema and septic knee). Six cases had a central line placed. Conclusion: IMD is now rare in Canadian children, but about one-third of the cases in our study required treatment in the intensive care unit and two died. Clinicians appear to not always be aware that a five to seven-day course is adequate for uncomplicated cases of bacteremia or meningitis.


  • Robinson, Joan L
  • Fanella, Sergio
  • Lopez, Alison
  • Frankel, Craig
  • McDonald, Jane
  • Alghounaim, Mohammad
  • Slinger, Robert
  • Bowes, Jennifer
  • Khan, Sarah
  • Comeau, Jeannette L
  • Leifso, Kirk
  • Gunawan, John
  • Barton, Michelle

publication date

  • October 1, 2020