How can meningococcal meningitis be diagnosed?

The culture of a clinical specimen (blood test and / or lumbar puncture) will reveal the meningococcus.

Most of the strains of meningococcal bacteria (Neisseria meningitidis) of hospitalised Belgian patients are sent to the National Reference Centre for Neisseria meningitidis hosted by the WIV-ISP, for confirmation of the diagnosis and to follow circulating serotypes.


Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre (NRC) which provides epidemiological monitoring for the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcus) and Listeria monocytogenes (listeria). The Belgian Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) of Sciensano, together with the European OMCL network, is responsible for the quality control of the meningitis vaccine prior to marketing.

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