Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2018 Jul 2;13(7):e0198658. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198658. eCollection 2018.

Evaluation of safety and immunogenicity of a group A streptococcus vaccine candidate (MJ8VAX) in a randomized clinical trial.

Author information

Clinical Tropical Medicine Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
The Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Q-Pharm Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Australia.
Department of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Mater Hospital and Mater Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia.
The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
Australian Centre for Health Service Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America.
Telethon Kids Institute, University of Western Australia and Perth Children's Hospital, Perth, Australia.



Group A streptococcus (GAS) is a serious human pathogen that affects people of different ages and socio-economic levels. Although vaccination is potentially one of the most effective methods to control GAS infection and its sequelae, few prototype vaccines have been investigated in humans. In this study, we report the safety and immunogenicity of a novel acetylated peptide-protein conjugate vaccine candidate MJ8VAX (J8-DT), when delivered intramuscularly to healthy adults.


A randomized, double-blinded, controlled Phase I clinical trial was conducted in 10 healthy adult participants. Participants were randomized 4:1 to receive the vaccine candidate (N = 8) or placebo (N = 2). A single dose of the vaccine candidate (MJ8VAX), contained 50 μg of peptide conjugate (J8-DT) adsorbed onto aluminium hydroxide and re-suspended in PBS in a total volume of 0.5 mL. Safety of the vaccine candidate was assessed by monitoring local and systemic adverse reactions following intramuscular administration. The immunogenicity of the vaccine was assessed by measuring the levels of peptide (anti-J8) and toxoid carrier (anti-DT)-specific antibodies in serum samples.


No serious adverse events were reported over 12 months of study. A total of 13 adverse events (AEs) were recorded, two of which were assessed to be associated with the vaccine. Both were mild in severity. No local reactogenicity was recorded in any of the participants. MJ8VAX was shown to be immunogenic, with increase in vaccine-specific antibodies in the participants who received the vaccine. The maximum level of vaccine-specific antibodies was detected at 28 days post immunization. The level of these antibodies decreased with time during follow-up. Participants who received the vaccine also had a corresponding increase in anti-DT serum antibodies.


Intramuscular administration of MJ8VAX was demonstrated to be safe and immunogenic. The presence of DT in the vaccine formulation resulted in a boost in the level of anti-DT antibodies.



[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center