Serogroup B meningococcal strains have become the major cause ofbacterial meningitis in many European and North American regions. Anew study published Online First in The Lancet Infectious Diseases reveals that researchers are now one step closer to finding avaccine that protects against a broad range of serogroup Bmeningococcal strains. According to the phase II trial, the new vaccine for serogroup BNeisseria meningitidis proved safe and immunogenic in adolescents.Most adolescents produced bacterial antibodies that were activeagainst 90% of the meningococcus sergroup B strains that occur inEurope and in the U.S. Leading researcher Peter Richmond from the University of WesternAustralia School of Pediatrics and Child Health explains: "Our data suggest that this vaccine is a promising and broadlyprotective meningococcal serogroup B vaccine candidate...Ifadditional studies show similar immunogenicity and tolerability,this vaccine might help to reduce the global burden of invasivemeningococcal disease." Even though Cuba and New Zealand have developed vaccines specificto meningococcal serogroup B strains, developing a wide-spectrumprotective vaccine has proved a challenge, because the proteins onthe surface of these bacteria, against which an immune response isgenerated, can vary. |
This creates obstacles in developing a vaccinethat is effective against many different strains. The new bivalent recombinant vaccine named Lipoprotein 2086consists of two variants of an antigen, which occur in at least 98%of all meningococcal serogroup B strains. To test the Lipoprotein2086 vaccine's safety and its ability to produce an immune response(immunogenicity), the researchers conducted a randomizedmulti-center phase II trial that involved 539 healthy adolescentsfrom 25 sites across Australia, Poland and Spain as adolescentshave a higher risk of meningococcal infection. The participants randomly received either three doses of theLipoprotein 2086 vaccine (60 g, 120 g, or 200 g oftotal protein) or placebo at 0, 2 and 6 months. To detectprotective antibody responses against a panel of eight diverseserogroup B strains, the researchers measured immunogenicity withserum bactericidal assays using human complement (hSBA), whichdemonstrated that the three doses of vaccine proved successful inproducing an immune response that indicated protection in 80 to100% of adolescents.
Overall, each dosing group was observed to tolerate the vaccinewell, with the most commonly reported side effect beingmild-to-moderate pain at the injection site. The researchers notethat after the third 200 g dose, one serious vaccine-relatedadverse event occurred. The researchers conclude: "The high protection indicated by hSBA response to all teststrains...suggests that bivalent recombinant lipoprotein 2086 is abroadly protective vaccine and that three doses is sufficient toconfer high seroprotection...Future research will define thereactogenicity [the capacity of a vaccine to produce adversereactions], breadth of coverage, and robustness of immunologicalprotection afforded by the vaccine." Muhamed-Kheir Taha and Ala Eddine Deghmane from the Paris InstitutPasteur in France wrote in a linked comment: "Surveillance of meningococcal isolates and typing should continueand include sequencing of genes that encode factor H bindingprotein to monitor the emergence or expansion of any escapevariants." Written By Petra Rattue Copyright: Medical News Today Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today Additional References Citations.
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