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Vaccine. 2004 Aug 13;22(23-24):3008-13.

PorA-specific differences in antibody avidity after vaccination with a hexavalent Men B outer membrane vesicle vaccine in toddlers and school children.

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  • 1Laboratory for Vaccine Research, The Netherlands Vaccine Institute, P.O. Box 457, 3720 AL Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


A clinical phase II trial with an experimental hexavalent outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccine (HexaMen) containing six different porin A (PorAs) was carried out in toddlers (2-3 years) and schoolchildren (7-8 years) in The Netherlands. HexaMen exists of two OMVs each containing three different PorA types. The serum bactericidal activity (SBA) after vaccination against the six PorAs was significantly different and was higher in toddlers than in schoolchildren. After vaccination the SBA against P1.5-2,10 was 4-6 times higher than against P1.7-2,4. The aim of this study was to test whether the differences in SBA could be explained by a difference in subtype-specific antibody avidity maturation. The avidity index (AI) of antibodies against three subtypes (PorA types P1.5-2,10; P1.12-1,13 and P1.7-2,4) was measured by ELISA and evaluated in relation to SBA. A significant avidity maturation for the 3 PorA subtypes was found. This maturation was most pronounced for P1.5-2,10 (mean AI = 72%), correlating with the highest SBA titres. Generally, the avidity titre correlated best with SBA. No differences in avidity indices against the three tested PorAs were found between toddlers and school children indicating that avidity maturation induced by this vaccine is not age-dependent.

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