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1.  Quadrivalent Meningococcal Vaccination of Adults: Phase III Comparison of an Investigational Conjugate Vaccine, MenACWY-CRM, with the Licensed Vaccine, Menactra▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2009;16(12):1810-1815.
Neisseria meningitidis is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States, with the highest case fatality rates reported for individuals ≥15 years of age. This study compares the safety and immunogenicity of the Novartis Vaccines investigational quadrivalent meningococcal CRM197 conjugate vaccine, MenACWY-CRM, to those of the licensed meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menactra, when administered to healthy adults. In this phase III multicenter study, 1,359 adults 19 to 55 years of age were randomly assigned to one of four groups (1:1:1:1 ratio) to receive a single dose of one of three lots of MenACWY-CRM or a single dose of Menactra. Serum samples obtained at baseline and 1 month postvaccination were tested for serogroup-specific serum bactericidal activity using human complement (hSBA). The hSBA titers following vaccination with MenACWY-CRM and Menactra were compared in noninferiority and prespecified superiority analyses. Reactogenicity was similar in the MenACWY-CRM and Menactra groups, and neither vaccine was associated with a serious adverse event. When compared with Menactra, MenACWY-CRM met the superiority criteria for the proportions of recipients achieving a seroresponse against serogroups C, W-135, and Y and the proportion of subjects achieving postvaccination titers of ≥1:8 for serogroups C and Y. MenACWY-CRM's immunogenicity was statistically noninferior (the lower limit of the two-sided 95% confidence interval was more than −10%) to that of Menactra for all four serogroups, with the postvaccination hSBA geometric mean titers being consistently higher for MenACWY-CRM than for Menactra. MenACWY-CRM is well tolerated in adults 19 to 55 years of age, with immune responses to each of the serogroups noninferior and, in some cases, statistically superior to those to Menactra.
PMCID: PMC2786376  PMID: 19812260
2.  Randomized trial to assess the immunogenicity, safety and antibody persistence up to three years after a single dose of a tetravalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in toddlers 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2012;8(12):1892-1903.
Effective vaccines offering broad protection to toddlers, who are at high risk for invasive meningococcal disease, are needed. Here, the immunogenicity, safety and antibody persistence of the tetravalent meningococcal ACWY tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) were evaluated in toddlers. Healthy participants aged 12 to 23 mo (n = 304) were randomized (3:1) to receive one dose of MenACWY-TT or a monovalent meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine (MenC-CRM197). Serum bactericidal activity was evaluated with assays using rabbit (rSBA) and human (hSBA) complement up to three years post-vaccination. MenACWY-TT was demonstrated to be non-inferior to MenC-CRM197 in terms of immunogenicity to serogroup C, and the pre-specified immunogenicity criteria for serogroups A, W-135 and Y were met. Exploratory analyses suggested that rSBA geometric mean titers (GMTs), hSBA GMTs and proportions of toddlers with rSBA titers ≥ 1:128 and hSBA titers ≥ 1:4 and ≥ 1:8 were higher for all serogroups at one month post-vaccination with MenACWY-TT compared with MenC-CRM197. At three years post-vaccination, at least 90.8% and 73.6% of MenACWY-TT recipients retained rSBA titers ≥ 1:8 for all serogroups and hSBA titers ≥ 1:4 for serogroups C, W-135 and Y, respectively, but the percentages of toddlers with hSBA titers ≥ 1:4 for serogroup A decreased to 21.8%. In both groups, grade 3 adverse events were infrequently reported and no serious adverse events were considered causally related to vaccination. These results suggest that one single dose of MenACWY-TT induces a robust and persistent immune response and has an acceptable safety profile in toddlers. This study has been registered at NCT00427908.
PMCID: PMC3656082  PMID: 23032159
tetravalent meningococcal vaccine; conjugate vaccine; toddler; bactericidal activity; persistence; safety
3.  Immunogenicity and Safety of a Multicomponent Meningococcal Serogroup B Vaccine and a Quadrivalent Meningococcal CRM197 Conjugate Vaccine against Serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y in Adults Who Are at Increased Risk for Occupational Exposure to Meningococcal Isolates▿  
Laboratory staff who work with meningococcal isolates are at increased risk for developing invasive disease relative to the general population. This was the first study of laboratory workers who received both a conjugate vaccine against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y (Men ACWY-CRM, Menveo) and an investigational multicomponent vaccine against serogroup B containing factor H binding protein, neisserial adhesin A, Neisseria heparin binding antigen, and New Zealand strain outer membrane vesicles (4CMenB). Healthy adults (18 to 50 years of age) received three doses of 4CMenB at baseline, 2 months, and 6 months followed by a single dose of MenACWY-CRM 1 month later. Immunogenicity was assessed via serum bactericidal assay using human complement (hSBA) at 1 month postvaccination; solicited reactogenicity and adverse events were monitored. Fifty-four participants enrolled. Bactericidal immune responses were evident after each dose of 4CMenB, as assessed by hSBA geometric mean titers and percentages of subjects with hSBA titers of ≥4 against the test strains or a 4-fold rise in titer over baseline. At 1 month postvaccination, most MenACWY-CRM recipients had hSBA titers of ≥8 against serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y. Few participants discontinued due to an adverse event or vaccine reaction. Rates of solicited reactions were lower after MenACWY-CRM than after 4CMenB administration. Sequential administration of 4CMenB and MenACWY-CRM provided robust evidence of an immune response against serogroups A, B, C, W-135, and Y in laboratory workers routinely exposed to meningococcal isolates.
PMCID: PMC3067382  PMID: 21177912
4.  Correlation between serum bactericidal activity against Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y measured using human versus rabbit serum as the complement source. 
Vaccine  2011;30(1):29-34.
The surrogate of protection against invasive meningococcal disease is the presence of serum bactericidal activity (SBA) at a titer ≥4 in an assay using human serum as the complement source (hSBA). However, for various practical and logistical reasons, many meningococcal vaccines in use today were licensed based on a modified SBA assay that used baby rabbit serum as the complement source (rSBA). To assess the strength of correlation between the two assay systems for serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y, we analyzed a subset of samples from adolescent subjects enrolled in a Phase II study of Novartis’ MenACWY-CRM conjugate vaccine vs. an ACWY polysaccharide vaccine; samples were analyzed in parallel using hSBA and rSBA. We compared geometric mean titers (GMTs), calculated Pearson correlation coefficients between paired hSBA and rSBA results, and calculated sensitivity/specificity and likelihood ratios for an rSBA ≥8 or ≥128 for classifying hSBA ≥4, taking hSBA as the ‘gold standard’. Correlations between hSBA and rSBA ranged from 0.46 to 0.78 for serogroup C, but were weaker for serogroups A, W-135 and Y (range -0.15 to 0.57). In post vaccination samples, nearly all subjects had rSBA titers ≥8, though up to 15% remained seronegative by hSBA. In post vaccination settings, rSBA titers at ≥8 or ≥128 was highly sensitive for an hSBA titer ≥4, but non-specific. In conclusion, results generated by rSBA did not accurately classify serostatus according to hSBA for serogroups A, W-135 and Y.
PMCID: PMC3906633  PMID: 22075087
Meningococcal vaccine; bactericidal assay; correlation; rabbit; human; serum
5.  Meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine: a new conjugate vaccine against invasive meningococcal disease 
Invasive meningococcal disease is a serious infection that occurs worldwide. It is caused by Neisseria meningitidis, of which six serogroups (A, B, C, W-135, X, and Y) are responsible for most infections. The case fatality rate of meningococcal disease remains high and can lead to significant sequelae. Vaccination remains the best strategy to prevent meningococcal disease. Polysaccharide vaccines were initially introduced in the late 1960s but their limitations (poor immunogenicity in infants and toddlers and hyporesponsiveness after repeated doses) have led to the development and use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines, which overcome these limitations. Two quadrivalent conjugated meningococcal vaccines – MenACWY-DT (Menactra®) and MenACWY-CRM197 (Menveo®) – using diphtheria toxoid or a mutant protein, respectively, as carrier proteins have already been licensed in the US. Recently, a quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine conjugated to tetanus toxoid (MenACWY-TT; Nimenrix®) was approved for use in Europe in 2012. The immunogenicity of MenACWY-TT, its reactogenicity and safety profile, as well as its coadministration with other vaccines are discussed in this review. Clinical trials showed that MenACWY-TT was immunogenic in children above the age of 12 months, adolescents, and adults, and has an acceptable reactogenicity and safety profile. Its coadministration with several other vaccines that are commonly used in children, adolescents, and adults did not affect the immunogenicity of MenACWY-TT or the coadministered vaccine, nor did it affect its reactogenicity and safety. Other studies are now ongoing in order to determine the immunogenicity, reactogenicity, and safety of MenACWY-TT in infants from the age of 6 weeks.
PMCID: PMC3979687  PMID: 24729718
coadministration; immunogenicity; meningococcal conjugate vaccine; reactogenicity and safety
6.  Immunogenicity and Safety of a Quadrivalent Meningococcal Serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine (MenACWY-TT) Administered to Adults Aged 56 Years and Older: Results of an Open-Label, Randomized, Controlled Trial 
Drugs & Aging  2013;30(5):309-319.
The burden of invasive meningococcal disease is substantial in older adults in whom the case fatality rate is high. Travelers to regions with high rates of meningococcal disease, such as Hajj pilgrims, are at increased risk of meningococcal infection, and disease transmission from travelers to their close contacts has been documented. In younger individuals, meningococcal conjugate vaccines offer advantages over polysaccharide vaccines in terms of duration of protection and boostability, and induction of herd immune effects through reductions in nasopharyngeal carriage of meningococci. To date, few data are available evaluating meningococcal conjugate vaccine use in adults >55 years of age.
To evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of quadrivalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y vaccine with all serogroups conjugated to tetanus toxoid (MenACWY-TT, Nimenrix™, GlaxoSmithKline, Belgium) and a licensed quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine (MenPS, Mencevax™ GlaxoSmithKline, Belgium) in adults >55 years of age.
This was a phase IIIb, open-label, randomized (3:1), controlled study conducted at one study center in Lebanon. A total of 400 healthy adults between 56 and 103 years of age without previous MenPS or tetanus toxoid vaccination within the previous 5 years or meningococcal conjugate vaccination at any time previously were included. They received a single-dose vaccination with MenACWY-TT or MenPS with blood sampling before and 1 month after vaccination. The main outcome measures were serum bactericidal activity (rabbit complement source: rSBA) vaccine response (VR) rate [rSBA titer of ≥1:32 in initially seronegative subjects (rSBA titer <1:8); ≥4-fold increase in subjects with pre-vaccination rSBA titers between 1:8 and 1:128, and ≥2-fold increase in subjects with pre-vaccination rSBA titers ≥1:128]. The percentages of subjects with rSBA titers ≥1:8 and ≥1:128 and rSBA geometric mean titers (GMTs) were assessed. Solicited adverse events were recorded for 4 days following vaccination, and all other adverse events, including the incidence of new onset chronic diseases, were recorded for 31 days after vaccination.
One month after a single dose of MenACWY-TT, the rSBA VR rate in the MenACWY-TT group was 76.6 % for serogroup A, 80.3 % for serogroup C, 77.5 % for serogroup W-135 and 81.9 % for serogroup Y. VR rates in the MenPS group were 91.7, 84.8, 87.1 and 89.1 %, respectively. One month after vaccination, ≥93.2 % of subjects in the MenACWY-TT group and ≥93.9 % in the MenPS group had rSBA titers ≥1:128. In each group, GMTs increased by ≥13-fold for each serogroup. rSBA VR and GMTs tended to be lower in subjects who were over 65 years compared to 56–65 years of age. Only 6.3 % of MenACWY-TT recipients had anti-TT ≥0.1 IU/ml prior to vaccination, increasing to 28.1 % post-vaccination. The rSBA GMTs were 1.9- to 4-fold higher in anti-TT responders. Each local and general solicited symptom was reported by no more than 3.0 % of subjects in either group. No serious adverse events were considered vaccine related.
In adults 56 years of age and older, MenACWY-TT was immunogenic, with a vaccine response rate ≥76 % and with ≥93 % of subjects achieving rSBA titers ≥1:128 against all four serogroups after a single dose. MenACWY-TT induced low anti-TT concentrations in this population, which deserves further study.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s40266-013-0065-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3634976  PMID: 23494214
7.  Immunogenicity and safety of the quadrivalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) in 2–10-year-old children: results of an open, randomised, controlled study 
European Journal of Pediatrics  2013;172(5):601-612.
In Europe, the introduction of monovalent meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) conjugate vaccines has resulted in a significant decline in MenC invasive disease. However, given the potential for strain evolution and increasing travel to areas of high endemicity, protection against additional serogroups is needed. In this study, the immunogenicity, measured by a serum bactericidal activity assay using rabbit complement (rSBA), and the safety of a quadrivalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) were compared to that of a licensed monovalent MenC conjugate vaccine (MenC-CRM197) in children 2–10 years of age. Children were randomised (3:1) to receive a single dose of either MenACWY-TT or MenC-CRM197. Non-inferiority of the immunogenicity of MenACWY-TT versus MenC-CRM197 in terms of rSBA-MenC vaccine response was demonstrated. Exploratory analyses suggested that rSBA-MenC geometric mean titres adjusted for pre-vaccination titres were lower in children vaccinated with MenACWY-TT compared to MenC-CRM197. Nevertheless, at 1 month post-vaccination, ≥99.3 % of the children who received MenACWY-TT had rSBA titres ≥1:128 for each of the four vaccine serogroups, which is the more conservative correlate of protection. The reactogenicity and safety profile of MenACWY-TT was clinically acceptable and no serious adverse events considered related to vaccination were reported throughout the study. Conclusion: When administered to European school-age children, MenACWY-TT has a clinically acceptable safety profile and, when compared with MenC-CRM197, the potential to broaden protection against meningococcal disease caused by serogroups A, W-135 and Y while maintaining protection against MenC. This study has been registered at NCT00674583.
PMCID: PMC3631514  PMID: 23307281
Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine; Conjugate vaccine; Tetanus toxoid; Child; Bactericidal activity; Randomised trial
8.  Immune response, antibody persistence, and safety of a single dose of the quadrivalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in adolescents and adults: results of an open, randomised, controlled study 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:116.
The best strategy to protect individuals against meningococcal disease is to immunize against multiple serogroups. Immunogenicity, antibody persistence, and safety of the EU-licensed meningococcal ACWY-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) were evaluated in healthy participants aged 11–55 years from the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
In this phase IIb, open, controlled study, 500 participants were randomised (3:1) to receive one dose of MenACWY-TT or a licensed meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Men-PS). Functional antibody responses against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y were assessed by a serum bactericidal antibody assay using rabbit complement (rSBA) at Month 0, Month 1, Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3. Vaccine response was defined as an rSBA titre ≥32 at Month 1 in participants who were seronegative (rSBA titre <8) pre-vaccination and as at least a four-fold increase in titre in participants who were seropositive pre-vaccination. Solicited symptoms were recorded up to Day 4, safety outcomes up to Month 6, and serious adverse events related to vaccination up to Year 3.
Pre-specified criteria for non-inferiority of MenACWY-TT versus Men-PS were met in terms of rSBA vaccine response and incidence of grade 3 general symptoms. At Month 1, 82.7%–96.3% of MenACWY-TT and 69.7%–91.7% in Men-PS recipients had a vaccine response for each serogroup. At Year 3, ≥99.1% and ≥92.9% of MenACWY-TT recipients retained rSBA titres ≥8 and ≥128, respectively, as compared to ≥86.7% and ≥80.0% in the Men-PS group. Both vaccines had a clinically acceptable safety profile, although injection site redness and swelling were more frequent in MenACWY-TT recipients.
These results suggest that MenACWY-TT could protect adolescents and adults against meningococcal disease up to three years post-vaccination.
Trial registration
This study is registered at
PMCID: PMC3599520  PMID: 23510357
Quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine; Conjugate vaccine; Bactericidal activity; Persistence; Safety; The Philippines; Saudi Arabia
9.  Antibody persistence and immune memory 15 months after priming with an investigational tetravalent meningococcal tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) in toddlers and young children 
The present extension study, conducted in children originally vaccinated at 12–14 mo or 3–5 y of age, assessed antibody persistence and immune memory induced by an investigational tetravalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT). In the original study, participants were randomized to receive one dose of MenACWY-TT or licensed age-appropriate meningococcal control vaccines. Fifteen months post-vaccination, all participants underwent serum sampling to evaluate antibody persistence and participants previously vaccinated as toddlers received a polysaccharide challenge to assess immune memory development.
Exploratory comparisons showed that (1) All children and ≥ 92.3% of the toddlers maintained serum bactericidal (rSBA) titers ≥ 1:8 at 15 mo post MenACWY-TT vaccination; statistically significantly higher rSBA geometric mean titers (GMTs) were observed compared with control vaccines. (2) At one month after polysaccharide challenge, all toddlers primed with MenACWY-TT or with the monovalent serogroup C conjugate vaccine had rSBA titers ≥ 1:8 and ≥ 1:128 for serogroup C and similar rSBA-GMTs; rSBA-GMTs for serogroups A, W-135 and Y were statistically significantly higher in toddlers primed with MenACWY-TT compared with the control vaccine. Thus, a single dose of MenACWY-TT induced persisting antibodies in toddlers and children and immune memory in toddlers.
This study has been registered at NCT00126984.
PMCID: PMC3495722  PMID: 22485049
children; immune memory; meningococcal vaccine; persistence; tetanus toxoid; toddlers
10.  A randomized study to assess the immunogenicity, antibody persistence and safety of a tetravalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in children aged 2–10 years 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2012;8(12):1882-1891.
Incidence of meningococcal diseases is high in children, and effective vaccines are needed for this age group. In this phase II, open, controlled study, 309 children aged 2–10 y from Finland were randomized (3:1) into two parallel groups to receive one dose of meningococcal ACWY-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (ACWY-TT group; n = 231) or a licensed meningococcal ACWY polysaccharide vaccine (Men-PS group; n = 78). Serum bactericidal activity using rabbit complement (rSBA) was evaluated up to three years post-vaccination. Exploratory comparisons suggested that rSBA vaccine response rates and geometric mean titers (GMTs) for each serogroup at one month post-vaccination and rSBA GMTs for serogroups A, W-135 and Y up to three years post-vaccination were higher in the ACWY-TT compared with Men-PS group, but did not detect any difference between groups in terms of rSBA-MenC GMTs at three years post-vaccination; this is explained by the higher proportion of children from the Men-PS group who were excluded because they were re-vaccinated with a monovalent meningococcal serogroup C vaccine due to loss of protective antibody levels against this serogroup. Although there was a higher incidence of local reactogenicity in the ACWY-TT group, general and unsolicited symptoms reporting rates were comparable in both groups. This study showed that MenACWY-TT was immunogenic with a clinically acceptable safety profile in children aged 2–10 y. MenACWY-TT induced higher functional antibody titers for all serogroups, which persisted longer for serogroups A, W-135 and Y, than the MenACWY polysaccharide vaccine. This study has been registered at NCT00427908.
PMCID: PMC3656081  PMID: 23032168
tetravalent meningococcal vaccine; conjugate vaccine; polysaccharide vaccine; bactericidal activity; child; safety; immunogenicity; persistence
11.  Critical appraisal of a quadrivalent CRM197 conjugate vaccine against meningococcal serogroups A, C W-135 and Y (Menveo®) in the context of treatment and prevention of invasive disease 
Worldwide, invasive meningococcal disease affects about 500,000 people annually. Case fatality in developed countries averages 10%, and higher rates are reported in less prosperous regions. According to the World Health Organization, the most important pathogenic serogroups are A, B, C, W-135, X, and Y. Clinical features of invasive meningococcal disease make diagnosis and management difficult. Antibiotic measures are recommended for prophylaxis after exposure and for treatment of invasive meningococcal disease cases; however, resistant strains may be emerging. Vaccines are generally regarded as the best preventative measure for invasive meningococcal disease. Polysaccharide vaccines against serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y using protein conjugation technology have clear advantages over older plain polysaccharide formulations without a protein component. The first quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-D) was licensed in the US in 2005. More recently, MenACWY-CRM (Menveo®) was licensed in Europe, the US, the Middle East, and Latin America. MenACWY-CRM uses cross-reactive material 197, a nontoxic mutant of diphtheria toxin, as the carrier protein. MenACWY-CRM offers robust immunogenicity in all age groups, with a tolerability profile similar to that of a plain polysaccharide vaccine. Given its potential for protecting persons from infancy to old age, MenACWY-CRM offers the opportunity to protect broad populations against invasive meningococcal disease. The most optimal strategy for use of the vaccine has to be assessed country by country on the basis of local epidemiology, individual health care systems, and need.
PMCID: PMC3163984  PMID: 21904459
invasive meningococcal disease; quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine; Neisseria meningitidis
12.  Meningococcal Polysaccharide A O-Acetylation Levels Do Not Impact the Immunogenicity of the Quadrivalent Meningococcal Tetanus Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine: Results from a Randomized, Controlled Phase III Study of Healthy Adults Aged 18 to 25 Years 
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology : CVI  2013;20(10):1499-1507.
In this study, we compared the immunogenicities of two lots of meningococcal ACWY-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) that differed in serogroup A polysaccharide (PS) O-acetylation levels and evaluated their immunogenicities and safety in comparison to a licensed ACWY polysaccharide vaccine (Men-PS). In this phase III, partially blinded, controlled study, 1,170 healthy subjects aged 18 to 25 years were randomized (1:1:1) to receive one dose of MenACWY-TT lot A (ACWY-A) (68% O-acetylation), MenACWY-TT lot B (ACWY-B) (92% O-acetylation), or Men-PS (82% O-acetylation). Immunogenicity was evaluated in terms of serum bactericidal activity using rabbit complement (i.e., rabbit serum bactericidal activity [rSBA]). Solicited symptoms, unsolicited adverse events (AEs), and serious AEs (SAEs) were recorded. The immunogenicities, in terms of rSBA geometric mean titers, were comparable for both lots of MenACWY-TT. The vaccine response rates across the serogroups were 79.1 to 97.0% in the two ACWY groups and 73.7 to 94.1% in the Men-PS group. All subjects achieved rSBA titers of ≥1:8 for all serogroups. All subjects in the two ACWY groups and 99.5 to 100% in the Men-PS group achieved rSBA titers of ≥1:128. Pain was the most common solicited local symptom and was reported more frequently in the ACWY group (53.9 to 54.7%) than in the Men-PS group (36.8%). The most common solicited general symptoms were fatigue and headache, which were reported by 28.6 to 30.3% and 26.9 to 31.0% of subjects, respectively. Two subjects reported SAEs; one SAE was considered to be related to vaccination (blighted ovum; ACWY-B group). The level of serogroup A PS O-acetylation did not affect vaccine immunogenicity. MenACWY-TT (lot A) was not inferior to Men-PS in terms of vaccine response and was well tolerated.
PMCID: PMC3807210  PMID: 23885033
13.  Combined Conjugate Vaccines: Enhanced Immunogenicity with the N19 Polyepitope as a Carrier Protein  
Infection and Immunity  2005;73(9):5835-5841.
The N19 polyepitope, consisting of a sequential string of universal human CD4+-T-cell epitopes, was tested as a carrier protein in a formulation of combined glycoconjugate vaccines containing the capsular polysaccharides (PSs) of Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y. Good antibody responses to all four polysaccharides were induced by one single immunization of mice with N19-based conjugates. Two immunizations with N19 conjugates elicited anti-MenACWY antibody titers comparable to those induced after three doses of glycoconjugates containing CRM197 as carrier protein. Compared to cross-reacting material (CRM)-based constructs, lower amounts of N19-MenACWY conjugates still induced high bactericidal titers to all four PSs. Moreover, N19-MenACWY-conjugated constructs induced faster and higher antibody avidity maturation against meningococcal C PS than CRM-based conjugates. Very importantly, N19-specific antibodies did not cross-react with the parent protein from which N19 epitopes were derived, e.g., tetanus toxoid and influenza virus hemagglutinin. Finally, T helper epitopes of the N19 carrier protein were effectively generated both in vivo (after immunization with the N19 itself) and in vitro (after restimulation of epitope-specific spleen cells). Taken together, these data show that the N19 polyepitope represents a strong and valid option for the generation of improved or new combined glycoconjugate vaccines.
PMCID: PMC1231108  PMID: 16113302
14.  Meningococcal Serogroup A, C, W135 and Y Conjugated Vaccine: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in the Netherlands 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e65036.
In 2002, vaccination with a serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenC) was introduced in the Netherlands for all children aged 14 months. Despite its success, herd immunity may wane over time. Recently, a serogroup A,C,W135,Y meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) was licensed for use in subjects of 12 months of age and above.
To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of meningococcal vaccination at 14 months and an additional vaccination at the age of 12 years, both with the MenACWY vaccine.
A decision analysis cohort model, with 185,000 Dutch newborns, was used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of different immunization strategies. For strategies including a vaccination at 12 years of age, an additional cohort with adolescents aged 12 years was followed. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) was estimated for the current disease incidence and for a scenario when herd immunity is lost.
Vaccination with MenACWY at 14 months is cost-saving. Vaccinating with MenACWY at 14 months and at 12 years would prevent 7 additional cases of meningococcal serogroup A,C,W135,Y disease in the birth cohort and adolescent cohort followed for 99 years compared to the current vaccine schedule of a single vaccination with MenC at 14 months. With the current incidence, this strategy resulted in an ICER of €635,334 per quality adjusted life year. When serogroup C disease incidence returns to pre-vaccination levels due to a loss of vaccine-induced herd-immunity, vaccination with MenACWY at 14 months and at 12 years would be cost-saving.
Routine vaccination with MenACWY is cost-saving. With the current epidemiology, a booster-dose with MenACWY is not likely cost-effective. When herd immunity is lost, a booster-dose has the potential of being cost-effective. A dynamic model should be developed for more precise estimation of the cost-effectiveness of the prevention of disappearance of herd immunity.
PMCID: PMC3669019  PMID: 23741448
15.  Randomized Trial on the Safety, Tolerability, and Immunogenicity of MenACWY-CRM, an Investigational Quadrivalent Meningococcal Glycoconjugate Vaccine, Administered Concomitantly with a Combined Tetanus, Reduced Diphtheria, and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Adolescents and Young Adults▿ †  
This study evaluated the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of an investigational quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY-CRM, when administered concomitantly with a combined tetanus, reduced diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, in subjects aged 11 to 25 years. Subjects received either MenACWY-CRM and Tdap, MenACWY-CRM and saline placebo, or Tdap and saline placebo. No significant increase in reactogenicity and no clinically significant vaccine-related adverse events (AEs) occurred when MenACWY-CRM and Tdap were administered concomitantly. Similar immunogenic responses to diphtheria, tetanus, and meningococcal (serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y) antigens were observed, regardless of concomitant vaccine administration. Antipertussis antibody responses were comparable between vaccine groups for filamentous hemagglutinin and were slightly lower, although not clinically significantly, for pertussis toxoid and pertactin when the two vaccines were administered concomitantly. These results indicate that the investigational MenACWY-CRM vaccine is well tolerated and immunogenic and that it can be coadministered with Tdap to adolescents and young adults.
PMCID: PMC2849330  PMID: 20164251
16.  Meningococcal Group C and W135 Immunological Hyporesponsiveness in African Toddlers▿ 
A phase II clinical study was conducted in African toddlers (aged 12 to 23 months), with subjects receiving either investigational meningococcal group A conjugate (PsA-TT), meningococcal ACWY polysaccharide (PsACWY), or Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib-TT) vaccine. Ten months following vaccination, the 3 study groups were further randomized to receive a dose of PsA-TT, a 1/5 dose of PsACWY, or a dose of Hib-TT vaccine. Group A serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) results have been reported previously, with PsA-TT demonstrating superior immunogenicity versus PsACWY vaccine. Immunogenicity for serogroups W135 and C was assessed by SBA assay to investigate the impact of multiple doses in this age group. Blood samples were taken prior to vaccination, 28 days and 40 weeks post-primary vaccination, and 7 and 28 days post-booster vaccination with a 1/5 dose of PsACWY. Subjects who had previously received a full dose of PsACWY had W135 SBA geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 26.1 and 4.4 at 7 and 28 days post-booster vaccination with a 1/5 PsACWY dose, respectively, whereas the W135 SBA GMTs of naïve subjects at these time points following vaccination with a 1/5 dose of PsACWY were 861.1 and 14.6, respectively. Similar differences were observed for serogroup C, with SBA GMTs of 99 and 5.9 at 7 and 28 days post-booster vaccination with a 1/5 dose of PsACWY, respectively, for naïve subjects, compared to 4.1 and 3.2 for previously vaccinated subjects. Immunologic hyporesponsiveness for groups C and W135 was observed following a full dose of PsACWY vaccine at 12 to 23 months of age and a 1/5 dose of PsACWY 10 months later compared to the case for PsACWY-naïve subjects receiving a 1/5 dose of PsACWY vaccine.
PMCID: PMC3165211  PMID: 21752951
17.  The immunogenicity and safety of an investigational meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (ACWY-TT) compared with a licensed meningococcal tetravalent polysaccharide vaccine 
Immunogenicity and safety of ACWY-TT compared with licensed ACWY polysaccharide vaccine (MenPS) in healthy adults, and lot-to-lot consistency of three ACWY-TT lots were evaluated in a phase 3, open, controlled study. Adults aged 18–55 y were randomized to receive ACWY-TT (one of three lots) or MenPS. Serum bactericidal antibodies (rSBA) were measured pre- and 1 mo post-vaccination. Adverse events (AEs) were assessed 4 d (solicited symptoms) and 31 d (unsolicited symptoms) post-vaccination. Serious AEs were reported up to 6 mo after vaccination. The number of vaccinated subjects was 1247 (ACWY-TT, n = 935; MenPS, n = 312). ACWY-TT lot-to-lot consistency and non-inferiority of ACWY-TT as compared with MenPS groups were demonstrated according to pre-specified criteria. The percentages of subjects with a vaccine response (VR = rSBA titer ≥ 1:32 in initially seronegative; ≥ 4-fold increase in initially seropositive) to ACWY-TT vs. MenPS were 80.1%/69.8% (serogroup A), 91.5%/ 92.0% (C), 90.2%/85.5% (W-135), 87.0%/78.8% (Y). Exploratory analyses showed that for serogroups A, W-135 and Y, VR rates and GMTs were significantly higher for ACWY-TT compared with MenPS. For each serogroup, ≥ 98.0% of subjects had rSBA titers ≥ 1:128. Grade 3 solicited AEs were reported in ≤ 1.6% of subjects in any group. The immunogenicity of ACWY-TT vaccine was non-inferior to MenPS for all four serogroups in adults, with significantly higher VR rates to serogroups A, W-135 and Y and an acceptable safety profile. Consistency of 3 ACWY-TT production lots was demonstrated. These data suggest that, if licensed, ACWY-TT conjugate vaccine may be used for protection against invasive meningococcal disease in healthy adults.
This study is registered at NCT00453986
PMCID: PMC3495723  PMID: 22485050
ACWY-TT vaccine; Neisseria meningitidis; adult; bactericidal activity; conjugate vaccine; immunogenicity; safety; tetravalent meningococcal vaccine; vaccine
18.  Serological Basis for Use of Meningococcal Serogroup C Conjugate Vaccines in the United Kingdom: Reevaluation of Correlates of Protection 
Infection and Immunity  2001;69(3):1568-1573.
The antibody data supporting the use of meningococcal serogroup C conjugate (MCC) vaccines in the United Kingdom were generated by serum bactericidal assay (SBA) using rabbit complement (rSBA). This may give higher titers than those obtained with human complement (hSBA), for which the “gold standard” correlate of protection for meningococcal C disease is a titer of ≥4. Comparison of rSBA and hSBA titers in sera from unvaccinated adults with an rSBA titer of ≥8 showed that for 93% (27 of 29) the titer was ≥4 by hSBA, confirming natural protection. Furthermore, sera from MCC vaccinees showed that an rSBA titer of <8 or ≥128 discriminated susceptibility and protection well (85% with rSBA titers of <8 had hSBA titers of <4, and 99% with rSBA titers of ≥128 had hSBA titers of ≥4). However, discrimination was poor in the rSBA titer range 8 to 64, with only 60% having hSBA titers of ≥4. In such cases we propose that protection can be assumed if there is a fourfold rise in titer between pre- and postvaccination sera or if there is a characteristic booster response to a polysaccharide challenge dose with, if available, evidence of antibody avidity maturation or an hSBA titer of result ≥4. Applying these criteria to toddlers, 10 to 40% of whom had titers in the range 8 to 64 after a single dose of MCC vaccine, showed that 94% had a fourfold rise in titer, including 98% of those in the titer range 8 to 64. In addition, of those with titers of <128 post-MCC vaccination, 90% had titers of ≥128 after a 10-μg polysaccharide booster dose, compared with only 7% of unprimed age-matched toddlers given a full 50-μg dose. Furthermore, the increase in geometric mean avidity index pre- and postbooster was independent of post-primary MCC titer. These results indicated that the majority of toddlers with an rSBA titer between 8 and 64, and some of those with an hSBA result of <4, have mounted a protective immune response with the induction of immunological memory.
PMCID: PMC98057  PMID: 11179328
19.  A new meningococcal conjugate vaccine: What should physicians know and do? 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2009;14(8):515-517.
A quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine for serogroups A, C, Y and W135 (MCV4 [Menactra, sanofi pasteur, Canada]) was introduced in Canada in 2007 for persons two years of age or older. MCV4 adds three serogroups to the meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine, which has been used for several years. The rates of invasive meningococcal serogroup C infection have decreased over the past decade, attributable to the meningococcal C conjugate vaccine. However, the incidence of infection caused by serogroups A, B, Y and W135 have not changed substantially. MCV4 induces the production of protective antibodies to serogroups A, C, Y and W135 in adults and children older than two years of age. Serious adverse events from MCV4 are low. In view of the effectiveness of the meningococcal C conjugate vaccine for young infants and the historic high number of meningococcal serogroup C infections in Canada, physicians should encourage and promote publicly funded immunization programs for infants starting at two months of age. MCV4 should also be given to children aged two years who are at increased risk for meningococcal infection. MCV4 may also be considered for HIV-positive children two years of age or older. All adolescents should be offered a booster dose with MCV4 or a meningococcal C conjugate vaccine at approximately 12 years of age. Both vaccines are generally safe and well tolerated.
PMCID: PMC2780966  PMID: 20885803
Canada; MCV4; Meningococcal infection; Meningococcal vaccine
20.  The investigational meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (ACWY-TT) and the seasonal influenza virus vaccine are immunogenic and well-tolerated when co-administered in adults 
Co-administration of meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y conjugate vaccine (ACWY-TT) with seasonal influenza vaccine was investigated in a subset of adults enrolled in a larger study evaluating lot-to-lot consistency of ACWY-TT and non-inferiority to licensed tetravalent meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MenPS). Subjects in this sub-study were randomized (3:1:1) to receive ACWY-TT alone (ACWY-TT group) or with seasonal influenza vaccine (Coad), or licensed MenPS alone. Serum bactericidal antibodies (rSBA) and serum haemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibody titers were measured pre- and 1 mo post-vaccination. Non-inferiority of the Coad group compared with ACWY-TT group was demonstrated in terms of rSBA geometric mean antibody titers (GMTs) to serogroups A, W-135 and Y. For serogroup C the pre-defined non-inferiority limit was marginally exceeded. Post-vaccination rSBA GMTs were significantly higher (exploratory analysis) in the Coad group compared with the MenPS group for serogroups A, W-135, and Y and were similar to the MenPS group for serogroup C. Overall, > 97% of subjects achieved rSBA titers ≥ 1:128 for all serogroups. The Coad group met all criteria defined by the Committee on Human Medicinal Products (CHMP) for seroprotection, seroconversion and seroconversion factor for HI antibodies for all three influenza strains. Grade 3 solicited local/general symptoms were reported by ≤ 1.9% of subjects in any group. These data support the co-administration of ACWY-TT with seasonal influenza vaccine when protection is needed against both diseases.
This study is registered at NCT00453986
PMCID: PMC3495724  PMID: 22485048
ACWY vaccine; Neisseria meningitidis; adult; co-administration; immunogenicity; influenza vaccine; polysaccharide vaccine; vaccine
21.  Measurement of Functional Anti-Meningococcal Serogroup A Activity Using Strain 3125 as the Target Strain for Serum Bactericidal Assay ▿ 
Functional anti-N. meningitidis serogroup A (MenA) activity in human serum is detected by serum bactericidal assay (SBA), using either rabbit (rSBA) or human (hSBA) complement, with F8238 as the recommended MenA SBA target strain. However, the F8238 strain may not be optimal for this purpose because, as we show here, it expresses the L11 immunotype, whereas most MenA invasive strains express the L(3,7)9 or L10 immunotype. Moreover, SBA results may be strain dependent, because immunotypes differ in their sensitivity to complement, emphasizing the need to choose the most appropriate strain. Sera from random subsets of infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents in clinical trials of MenA conjugate vaccines were tested by rSBA using strains 3125 (L10) and F8238 (L11). In unvaccinated subjects from all age groups, the percentages of seropositive samples (rSBA-MenA titer, ≥1:8) was lower using strain 3125 than using strain F8238. However, in toddlers and adolescents immunized with a conjugate MenA vaccine, the percentages of seropositive samples generally were similar using either strain in the rSBA. In two studies, sera also were tested with hSBA. Using hSBA, the differences in the percentages of seroprotective samples (hSBA-MenA titer, ≥1:4) between strains 3125 and F8238 was less apparent, and in contrast with rSBA, the percentage of seroprotective samples from unvaccinated subjects was slightly higher using strain 3125 than using strain F8238. In adults vaccinated with plain MenA polysaccharide, the percentage of seroprotective samples was higher using strain 3125 than with strain F8238, and the vaccine response rates using strain 3125 were better aligned with the demonstrated efficacy of MenA vaccination. In conclusion, SBA results obtained using the MenA L10 3125 strain better reflected vaccine-induced immunity.
PMCID: PMC3147334  PMID: 21593240
22.  Development and Use of a Serum Bactericidal Assay Using Pooled Human Complement To Assess Responses to a Meningococcal Group A Conjugate Vaccine in African Toddlers 
A meningococcal group A polysaccharide (PS) conjugate vaccine (PsA-TT) has been developed for African countries affected by epidemic meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis. Complement-mediated serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) assays are used to assess protective immune responses to meningococcal vaccination. Human complement (hC′) was used in early studies demonstrating antibody-mediated protection against disease, but it is difficult to obtain and standardize. We developed and evaluated a method for sourcing hC′ and then used the SBA assay with hC′ (hSBA) to measure bactericidal responses to PsA-TT vaccination in 12- to 23-month-old African children. Sera with active complement from 100 unvaccinated blood donors were tested for intrinsic bactericidal activity, SBA titer using rabbit complement (rSBA), and anti-group A PS antibody concentration. Performance criteria and pooling strategies were examined and then verified by comparisons of three independently prepared hC′ lots in two laboratories. hSBA titers of clinical trial sera were then determined using this complement sourcing method. Two different functional antibody tests were necessary for screening hC′. hSBA titers determined using three independent lots of pooled hC′ were within expected assay variation among lots and between laboratories. In African toddlers, PsA-TT elicited higher hSBA titers than meningococcal polysaccharide or Hib vaccines. PsA-TT immunization or PS challenge of PsA-TT-primed subjects resulted in vigorous hSBA memory responses, and titers persisted in boosted groups for over a year. Quantifying SBA using pooled hC′ is feasible and showed that PsA-TT was highly immunogenic in African toddlers.
PMCID: PMC4018891  PMID: 24671551
23.  Safety and Immunogenicity of Quadrivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine in 2 to 10 Year-Old Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Children 
HIV-infected children are at increased risk of meningococcal infection and poor response to quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), but MCV4 has not been studied in pre-adolescent HIV-infected children.
The P1065 trial enrolled 2-10 year-old HIV-infected children with CD4 ≥25% to receive MCV4 at entry and at week 24. Rates of response (≥4-fold rise in rabbit serum bactericidal antibody [rSBA]) against each meningococcal serogroup [A, C, Y, W-135], geometric mean titers (GMT), and rates of seroprotection (rSBA titer ≥1:128) were determined from sera obtained at entry and weeks 4, 24, 28 and 72. Adverse events (AE) were assessed for 6 weeks after each MCV4 dose.
At entry, 47% of the 59 participants were male, 56% black, 31% Latino, median age was 6 years, 88% were receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 75% had viral load <400 copies/mL. There were no serious AEs within 6 weeks after MCV4 doses; all vaccination reactions were mild. Response after a single MCV4 dose was high to serogroup A (92%) and W-135 (98%); responses improved after a second dose for serogroup C (43% to 80%) [p<0.0001] and Y (76% to 84%) [p=0.38]. By week 72, seroprotection rates were 93%, 91%, 78% and 46% for serogroups W-135, Y, A and C, respectively.
Two doses of MCV4 were safe and immunogenic in 2-10 year-old HIV-infected children. The second dose increased the proportion of children who made a response to serogroup C. Seroprotection waned substantially for serogroups A and C within one year of last MCV4 dose.
PMCID: PMC3252429  PMID: 21987006
Pediatric HIV infection; meningococcal vaccine; conjugate vaccine
24.  Prevention of rare diseases: how revolutionary techniques can help vulnerable individuals—the example of serogroup B meningococcal infection 
In countries with established programmes for vaccination of infants, toddlers and adolescents with meningococcal conjugate vaccines, serogroup B invasive meningococcal disease remains the major cause of septicaemia and meningitis in the paediatric and adolescent age groups. Novartis has developed a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine, 4CMenB, to meet this need. We reviewed all 4CMenB studies. The studies found 4CMenB to be highly immunogenic when administered in all schedules, with protective antibody levels (serum bactericidal antibody titres ≥4 or ≥5 with human complement, hSBA) against serogroup B strains expressing vaccine antigens in >95% of vaccinated cohorts. When antibody levels waned, all tested groups demonstrated booster responses. Although possibly an underestimation, the Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (MATS) technique predicts that global coverage of 4CMenB against all serogroup B strains is in the range 66% (Canada) to 91% (USA). The vaccine was found to be generally well tolerated, although local and systemic reactions, notably fever in infants, typical of many vaccines, were increased following concomitant administration of 4CMenB with routine vaccines. When tested, prophylactic paracetamol significantly decreased the frequency and severity of reactions in infants, with no clinically significant impact on immunogenicity of 4CMenB or concomitant routine vaccines. The vaccine is approved for use in the following age groups in the European Union (2 months+), Canada (2 months through 17 years), Australia (2 months+) and Chile (2 months+), following clinical evaluation in 4843 infants and toddlers, and 1712 adolescents and adults, in schedules including a three-dose (2, 3, 4 or 2, 4, 6 months) and a two-dose (6–11 months) infant series with a booster in the second year of life, a two-dose series in toddlers (12–23 months) and children (2–10 years) given 2 months apart (with a booster at least in the EU), and a two-dose series in adolescents (11–17 years) given 1–6 months apart. 4CMenB presents a solution to the unmet medical need of offering protection against serogroup B invasive meningococcal disease in all age groups above 2 months.
PMCID: PMC4266687  PMID: 25553243
immunization; meningitis; meningococcal infection; meningococcus; rare disease; reverse vaccinology; vaccination; vulnerable individual
25.  Kinetics of Antibody Persistence following Administration of a Combination Meningococcal Serogroup C and Haemophilus influenzae Type b Conjugate Vaccine in Healthy Infants in the United Kingdom Primed with a Monovalent Meningococcal Serogroup C Vaccine ▿  
The kinetics of antibody persistence following the administration of a combination meningococcal serogroup C and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine (Menitorix) in the second year of life in children primed with two doses of one of three monovalent meningococcal serogroup C (MCC) vaccines was investigated. The study subjects were administered either Menitorix at 12 to 15 months of age, followed by the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine 4 to 6 weeks later, or all three vaccines concomitantly at 12 to 15 months of age. Blood samples were collected before and 1, 2, 12, and 24 months after the boosting. Sera were analyzed for meningococcal serogroup C serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) and IgG as well as Hib-polyribosylribitol phosphate (PRP)-specific IgG. The antibody persistence data from this study were compared to those of a prior study of Southern et al. (Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 14:1328-1333, 2007) in which children were given three primary doses of a vaccine containing both the MCC and the Hib vaccines but were boosted only with a Hib conjugate vaccine. The magnitude of the meningococcal SBA geometric mean titer was higher for those subjects primed with the MCC vaccine conjugated to tetanus toxoid (NeisVac-C) than for those primed with one of two MCC vaccines conjugated to CRM197 (Menjugate or Meningitec) up to 1 year following boosting. Two years after boosting, the percentages of subjects with putatively protective SBA titers of ≥8 for children primed with NeisVac-C, Menjugate, and Meningitec were 43%, 22%, and 23%, respectively. Additional booster doses of the MCC vaccine may be required in the future to maintain good antibody levels; however, there is no immediate need for a booster during adolescence, as mathematical modeling has shown that persisting herd immunity is likely to control disease for a number of years.
PMCID: PMC2812092  PMID: 19906895

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