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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1996 Jan;13(1):9-17.

Antibody studies in mice of outer membrane antigens for use in an improved meningococcal B and C vaccine.

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Bacteriology Branch, Adolfo Lutz Institute, São Paulo, Brazil.


Since 1988, N. meningitidis, B:4:P1.15, ET-5 complex, has been responsible for an epidemic of meningococcal disease in Greater São Paulo, Brazil. Despite current trials to develop an effective vaccine against group B meningococci, children less than 2 years old have not been protected. It has been suggested that iron-regulated proteins (IRPs) should be considered as potential antigens for meningococcal vaccines. The vaccines under study consisted of outer-membrane vesicles depleted of lipooligosaccharide from three serogroup B strains and one serogroup C strain, IRPs, meningococcal group C polysaccharide and aluminum hydroxide. Four different protein and C polysaccharide concentrations were studied. The ELISA and bactericidal results showed a higher antibody response when 2 injections of 2.0 micrograms doses were administered. Despite higher IgG reactivity against antigen preparations containing IRPs seen in ELISA, the bactericidal activity was not increased if the target strain was grown in iron-restricted medium. The influence of addition of alkaline-detoxified lipooligosaccharide (dLOS) on immunogenicity of the vaccine was also investigated, and the dLOS provided for a more functionally specific antibody response.

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