Vaccine targets against Moraxella catarrhalis

Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016;20(1):19-33. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2015.1081686. Epub 2015 Aug 26.


Introduction: Moraxella catarrhalis is a prominent pathogen that causes acute otitis media in children and lower respiratory tract infections in adults, resulting in a significant socioeconomic burden on healthcare systems globally. No vaccine is currently available for M. catarrhalis. Promising M. catarrhalis target antigens have been characterized in animal models and should soon enter human clinical trials.

Areas covered: This review discusses the detailed features and research status of current candidate target antigens for an M. catarrhalis vaccine. The approaches for assessing M. catarrhalis vaccine efficacy are also discussed.

Expert opinion: Targeting the key molecules contributing to serum resistance may be a viable strategy to identify effective vaccine targets among M. catarrhalis antigens. Elucidating the role and mechanisms of the serum and mucosal immune responses to M. catarrhalis is significant for vaccine target selection, testing and evaluation. Developing animal models closely simulating M. catarrhalis-caused human respiratory diseases is of great benefit in better understanding pathogenesis and evaluating vaccine efficacy. Carrying out clinical trials will be a landmark in the progress of M. catarrhalis vaccine research. Combined multicomponent vaccines will be a focus of future M. catarrhalis vaccine studies.

Keywords: adhesin; adjuvant; antigen; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; clinical trial; conserved; epitope; immunogenicity; mucosal immune response; nasopharyngeal colonization; nutrient acquisition; opsonophagocytosis; otitis media; outer membrane protein; serum resistance; virulence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Child
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Moraxella catarrhalis / isolation & purification*
  • Moraxellaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Moraxellaceae Infections / prevention & control*
  • Otitis Media / microbiology
  • Otitis Media / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / microbiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control


  • Bacterial Vaccines