Introduction Meningococcal disease (MD) remains a major cause of morbimortality worldwide, affecting children and adolescents. It is more common in overcrowded and poor areas. In Spain, since the mid-twentieth century there have been some changes in incidence and temporal variations in the proportion of the serogroups causing disease. Objectives To determine the levels and trends of MD from 1940 to 2012 in Spain, and the evolution of serogroups, before and after the introduction of vaccination campaigns against serogroup C. Methods Descriptive study was conducted in Spain since 1940 using official data published by the Ministry of Health and other institutions. Results In Spain, since 1940 there have been 5 epidemic waves, the 2 largest in 1971 and 1979. This has been the highest in the period. From 1986 gradually increased serogroup C, and in 1996-1997 was the largest forcing it to use the polysaccharide vaccine against serogroups A + C. In the autumn of 2000 is introduced serogroup C conjugate vaccine. During the 2006-2012 period decreases the incidence of serogroup C, but with high case fatality especially in women. MD rates down, also decreasing the incidence of serogroups B and C. Conclusions MD is an important public health problem in Spain. The serogroup C conjugate vaccine has succeeded in controlling meningococcal disease caused by serogroup C. The new vaccines against serogroup B offer the possibility of minimizing the incidence of MD. All this creates a scenario of caution and moderate optimism for this disease, keeping vaccines available for their control. © 2013 Elsevier Espãna, S.L. All rights reserved.
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