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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 21;8(6):e66536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066536. Print 2013.

Mutant Native Outer Membrane Vesicles Combined with a Serogroup A Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine for Prevention of Meningococcal Epidemics in Africa.

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Center for Immunobiology and Vaccine Development, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California, United States of America.



The meningococcal serogroup A (MenA) polysaccharide conjugate vaccine used in Sub-Saharan Africa does not prevent disease caused by MenW or MenX strains, which also cause epidemics in the region. We investigated the vaccine-potential of native outer membrane vesicles with over-expressed factor H-binding protein (NOMV-fHbp), which targeted antigens in African meningococcal strains, and was combined with a MenA polysaccharide conjugate vaccine.


The NOMV-fHbp vaccine was prepared from a mutant African MenW strain with PorA P1.5,2, attenuated endotoxin (ΔLpxL1), deleted capsular genes, and over-expressed fHbp in variant group 1. The NOMV-fHbp was adsorbed with Al(OH)3 and used to reconstitute a lyophilized MenA conjugate vaccine, which normally is reconstituted with liquid MenC, Y and W conjugates in a meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine (MCV4-CRM, Novartis). Mice immunized with the NOMV-fHbp vaccine alone developed serum bactericidal (human complement) activity against 13 of 15 African MenA strains tested; 10 of 10 African MenX strains, 7 of 7 African MenW strains, and 6 of 6 genetically diverse MenB strains with fHbp variant group 1 (including 1 strain from The Gambia). The combination NOMV-fHbp/MenA conjugate vaccine elicited high serum bactericidal titers against the two MenA strains tested that were resistant to bactericidal antibodies elicited by the NOMV-fHbp alone; the combination elicited higher titers against the MenA and MenW strains than those elicited by a control MCV4-CRM vaccine (P<0.05); and high titers against MenX and MenB strains. For most strains, the titers elicited by a control NOMV-fHbp knock out vaccine were <1∶10 except when the strain PorA matched the vaccine (titers >1∶000).


The NOMV-fHbp/MenA conjugate vaccine provided similar or higher coverage against MenA and MenW strains than a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and extended protection against MenX strains responsible for epidemics in Africa, and MenB strains with fHbp in variant group 1.

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