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Clinical Trial
. 2001 Nov;20(11):1054-61.
doi: 10.1097/00006454-200111000-00010.

Immunogenicity of a Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Against Multiple Neisseria Meningitidis Strains in Infants

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Clinical Trial

Immunogenicity of a Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Against Multiple Neisseria Meningitidis Strains in Infants

S L Morley et al. Pediatr Infect Dis J. .

Abstract

Background: The serogroup B meningococcus is responsible for the majority of cases of meningococcal disease in temperate countries. Infants and young children <2 years of age are at greatest risk of disease. This study assessed the immunogenicity in infants of a serogroup B meningococcal outer membrane protein vaccine that has been used extensively in disease outbreaks in Cuba and several Latin American countries and shown to be efficacious in teenagers.

Method: One hundred five healthy infants entering the routine vaccination schedule in Havana, Cuba, were given either 2 or 3 doses of the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine VA-MENGOC-BC at 3.5, 5.5 and 7.5 months of age. Immune response pre- and postvaccination was determined by the conventional serum bactericidal assay (SBA), a more sensitive novel whole blood bactericidal assay (WBA) and immunoglobulin ELISA.

Results: In 52 and 46% of infants >50% killing of the vaccine serogroup B strain (B:4:P1.19,15) and serogroup C strain, respectively, was demonstrated by the WBA after 2 doses of the vaccine. Serum bactericidal activity (4-fold increase in titer) was induced in only 27% against the vaccine serogroup B strain and in 14% against the serogroup C strain. The changes in WBA and SBA were mirrored by the serogroup B and C immunoglobulin ELISA. Cross-reactive immunogenicity against other (heterologous) serogroup B strains was demonstrated for one of the four further strains assessed by WBA. By age 16 to 18 months SBA, WBA and ELISA responses had declined considerably. The addition of a third dose of vaccine did not appear to significantly influence immunogenicity at 17 months of age.

Conclusion: The serogroup B outer membrane protein vaccine VA-MENGOC-BC induces a demonstrable immune response in infants against both the serogroup B vaccine strain and against a serogroup C strain. Cross-reactive immunogenicity against other (heterologous) serogroup B strains is limited in this age group.

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