High-risk groups

What are the groups at risk of developing invasive meningococcal disease?

In Belgium, meningococcal infections are most frequent in:

  • children under 5
  • adolescents, young adults and the elderly 
  • people that are part of a group: boarding school, school environments, sports clubs, military camps, large rallies (e.g. demonstrations, pilgrimages). 
  • immunodepressed people (HIV, genetic diseases).


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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