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. 1973;49(3):301-5.

A Serogroup A Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine: Studies in the Sudan to Combat Cerebrospinal Meningitis Caused by Neisseria Meningitidis Group A

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A Serogroup A Meningococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine: Studies in the Sudan to Combat Cerebrospinal Meningitis Caused by Neisseria Meningitidis Group A

H H Erwa et al. Bull World Health Organ. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Vaccination against cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) has regained interest with the use of capsular polysaccharides (or polyosides) of the meningococcus as specific immunizing agents. These compounds proved to be effective in the USA against meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis serotype C. This study considers whether the polysaccharides of the serotype A meningococcus, which is prevalent in the African CSM belt, could be protective in epidemic conditions. Taking advantage of the usual seasonal peak of CSM cases, controlled field trials were undertaken in the Sudan early in 1973. 21 640 persons were vaccinated, half of them with a meningococcal polyoside A vaccine and the other half with tetanus toxoid as a placebo. In the former group there were no cases of meningitis, whereas in the latter 10 cases were reported, of which 7 were confirmed by laboratory tests. These studies indicate that the meningococcal polyoside A vaccine is efficient in epidemic conditions and could be used to control outbreaks of meningococcal meningitis.

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