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Arzneimittelforschung. 2003;53(12):805-13.

Development of new vaccines against meningococcal disease.

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Chiron Vaccines, Chiron Behring GmbH & Co. KG, Post Box 1630, 35006 Marburg, Germany.


Meningococcal diseases continue to have a major public health impact in many countries. Five major groups of Neisseria meningitidis (A, B, C, Y and W135) are responsible for most meningoccocal diseases. Plain polysaccharides vaccines for Nelsseria meningitidis groups A, C, Y and W-135 have been in use for approximately 20 years, both to prevent invasive disease in high-risk population and to control disease outbreaks. However, these conventional meningococcal vaccines induce a relatively short-lasting T-cell independent immune response, are not effective in children under two years of age and can induce hyporesponsiveness. New meningococcal group C conjugate vaccines have since been developed, which offer solid advantages over the currently licensed plain polysaccharide vaccines. There is still no vaccine available against the serogroup B, which is a major cause of invasive disease. This report summarises the different approaches to the development of vaccines against the pathogenic meningococci.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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