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Vaccine. 1996 Apr;14(5):446-50.

Safety and immunogenicity of a tetravalent group B streptococcal polysaccharide vaccine in healthy adults.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21201, USA.


Proposed strategies for prevention of neonatal group B streptococcal (GBS) infection have included active immunization of pregnant women and passive immunization of high-risk infants with hyperimmune GBS globulin derived from vaccinated plasma donors. To explore the feasibility of a program for generating hyperimmune GBS globulin, we evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a candidate multivalent GBS vaccine containing purified polysaccharide from types Ia, Ib, II, and III among subjects most likely to develop an immune response following vaccination, i.e. those with pre-existing antibody to GBS. Thirty volunteers prescreened for serum antibody to type III GBS were immunized with a single subcutaneous injection of vaccine containing either 10, 25, or 50 micrograms of each polysaccharide type (Group 1). An additional ten volunteers prescreened for antibody to type Ia were vaccinated with the 50 micrograms dose (Group 2). Vaccination was generally well tolerated with minor reactions occurring in 27% of subjects. Using a quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the seroconversion rates (> or = fourfold rise) and geometric mean antibody concentration (GMC in microgram IgG ml-1) 6 weeks after vaccination in Group 1 to type Ia, II, and III were 33% (GMC 5.2), 17% (GMC 3.6), and 70% (GMC 43.4), respectively. Quantitative titers were not available for type Ib, but a fourfold rise in ELISA units was seen in 13% of subjects. In Group 2, seroconversion rates to type Ia and III were 90% (GMC 73.4) and 40% (GMC 22.2), respectively. No significant dose-response effect was detected. Combined analysis of Groups 1 and 2 demonstrated that subjects with prevaccination antibody concentrations > 2 micrograms IgG ml-1 had significantly higher type-specific antibody concentrations following vaccination compared with subjects possessing lower levels of antibody before immunization. We conclude that our tetravalent GBS polysaccharide vaccine is safe but only modestly immunogenic in healthy seropositive adults. More potent vaccines will be required for public health use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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