Dual roles as a commensal and potentially invasive pathogen. Oro- and nasopharynges of 10% of the population are colonized with this bacterium.
Humans are the reservoir.
Quadrivalent vaccine prevents disease caused by serogroups A/C/W-135/Y. Separate vaccine for serogroup B is also available.
Can cause outbreaks, particularly in crowded settings.
Increased risk of disease in patients with:
- late complement deficiency
- splenic impairment / asplenia