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J Med Microbiol. 2009 Sep;58(Pt 9):1127-32. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.011189-0. Epub 2009 Jun 15.

Quest for a broad-range vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B: implications of genetic variations of the surface-exposed proteins.

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Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, Instituto Nacional de Controle de Qualidade em Sa├║de, Departamento de Microbiologia, Rio de Janeiro 21045-900, Brazil.


Despite the development of new vaccine formulations using new biotechnology resources to combat emerging and re-emerging diseases, serogroup B meningococcal disease is still a worldwide burden, accounting for many deaths and disabilities every year. The successful approach of coupling a polysaccharide (PS) with a carrier protein in order to increase long-lasting immunity could not be exploited against Neisseria meningitidis B because of the limitations of using the capsular PS of serogroup B meningococci. Tailor-made vaccines based on exposed proteins were shown to be a promising approach to overcome these flaws. However, the continuous adaptation of surface meningococcal structures to the external environment has led to genetic shifts of potential vaccine-target epitopes, hampering the quest for a broad-range vaccine that could be used against all serogroups, especially against serogroup B.

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