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Infect Immun. 2001 Apr;69(4):2378-82.

Evaluation of De-O-acetylated meningococcal C polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine in infancy: reactogenicity, immunogenicity, immunologic priming, and bactericidal activity against O-acetylated and De-O-acetylated serogroup C strains.

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Immunisation Division, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Public Health Laboratory Service, London NW9 5EQ, United Kingdom.


The polysaccharide capsule of serogroup C Neisseria meningitidis (MenC) has been integral to vaccine development. Licensed MenC vaccines contain the O-acetylated (OAc+) form of polysaccharide. Some MenC strains have de-O-acetylated (OAc-) polysaccharide, which may affect antibody specificity and functional activity when used in a vaccine. We evaluated an OAc-MenC conjugate-tetanus toxoid conjugate (MCC-TT) vaccine given concomitantly with whole-cell diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, and oral polio immunization in 83 infants at 2, 3, and 4 months of age. Serum bactericidal activities (SBA) against OAc+ and OAc- MenC strains and OAc+ and OAc- polysaccharide-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels were evaluated. MCC-TT vaccine was well tolerated. All infants produced SBA titers of > or = 8 after a single dose at 2 months of age. The SBA geometric mean titer for OAc+ strain C11 increased from 2.7 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2 to 3.2) to 320 (95% CI, 237 to 432), 773 (95% CI, 609 to 982), and 1,063 (95% CI, 856 to 1319) after one, two, and three doses of MCC-TT, respectively. OAc- IgG levels were twice as high as OAc+ IgG levels after the primary series of MCC-TT vaccine, and the SBA was significantly higher against the OAc- MenC strain. Antibody responses to booster vaccination with either OAc+ MenC polysaccharide vaccine (MACP) or a fourth dose of MCC-TT at 14 months of age provided evidence of immunologic memory. The acetylation status of the booster vaccine influenced the specificity of the response, with significantly higher OAc- IgG levels and SBA after MCC-TT vaccine compared to MACP vaccine but similar OAc+ antibody levels. MCC-TT vaccine is highly immunogenic and primes for immunologic memory against OAc+ and OAc- MenC strains in infancy.

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