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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010 Jun;17(6):919-29. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00027-10. Epub 2010 Apr 7.

Characterization of fHbp, nhba (gna2132), nadA, porA, and sequence type in group B meningococcal case isolates collected in England and Wales during January 2008 and potential coverage of an investigational group B meningococcal vaccine.

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Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Health Protection Agency, P.O. Box 209, Floor 2, Clinical Sciences Building 2, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Oxford Road, Manchester M139WZ, United Kingdom.


Invasive disease caused by meningococcal capsular groups A, C, W-135, and Y is now preventable by means of glycoconjugate vaccines that target their respective polysaccharide capsules. The capsule of group B meningococci (MenB) is poorly immunogenic and may induce autoimmunity. Vaccines based on the major immunodominant surface porin, PorA, are effective against clonal epidemics but, thus far, have a limited scope of coverage against the wider MenB population at large. In an alternative approach, the first-generation, investigational, recombinant MenB (rMenB) plus outer membrane vesicle (OMV) (rMenB-OMV) vaccine contains a number of relatively conserved surface proteins, fHBP, NHBA (previously GNA2132), and NadA, alongside PorA P1.4-containing OMVs from the New Zealand MeNZB vaccine. MenB currently accounts for approximately 90% of cases of meningococcal disease in England and Wales. To assess potential rMenB-OMV vaccine coverage of pathogenic MenB isolates within this region, all English and Welsh MenB case isolates from January 2008 (n = 87) were genetically characterized with respect to fHBP, NHBA, NadA, and PorA. Alleles for fHbp, nhba, and porA were identified in all of the isolates, of which 22% were also found to harbor nadA alleles. On the basis of genotypic data and predicted immunological cross-reactivity, the potential level of rMenB-OMV vaccine coverage in England and Wales ranges from 66% to 100%.

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