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Vaccine. 2001 Jan 8;19(11-12):1327-46.

Development of natural immunity to Neisseria meningitidis.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, British Columbia's Children's Hospital, British Columbia Research Institute for Children's and Women's Health, 950, West 28th Avenue, Room 375, BC V5Z 4H4, Vancouver,


Although meningococcal disease is rare in industrialized nations, Neisseria meningitidis holds a prominent position amongst pediatric infections because of the dramatic clinical presentation of the disease, high mortality, epidemic potential and the recent disappearance of many other important infectious diseases in developed countries through improvements in public health and vaccination. The precise nature of natural immunity to meningococci remains unknown, although a complex interaction between the organism and nasopharyngeal mucosal barrier, innate immune mechanisms and acquired immunity is involved. Study of the mechanisms of natural immunity may provide the key to development of vaccines that can reduce the burden of disease in early childhood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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