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Vaccine. 1999 Jun 4;17(20-21):2677-89.

The infant rat model adapted to evaluate human sera for protective immunity to group B meningococci.

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Department of Vaccines, National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland.


The infant rat infection model previously developed to evaluate protective ability of passively administered murine antibodies to group B meningococcal (MenB) surface antigens was adapted for human sera. Several challenge doses were tested, aiming at sensitive detection of protection with little interassay variability. Doses of 10(5) and 10(6) colony forming units of strain IH5341 (MenB:15:P1.7,16) injected intraperitoneally gave consistently high levels of bacteremia and meningitis developed in 6 h in 50-100% of the pups. A monoclonal antibody mAb735 to the MenB capsule, injected 1-2 h before bacterial challenge, gave full protection at a dose of 2 microg/pup. Sera from adult volunteers immunized with a MenB outer membrane vesicle vaccine reproducibly reduced bacterial counts in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid, whereas a normal human serum, lacking bactericidal and opsonophagocidal activity, was unprotective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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