Meningococcal B vaccine and the vision of a meningitis free world


meningococcal B vaccine
cross protection


A century of traditional vaccinology lost the fight against meningococcus serogroup B (MenB). However, thanks to an innovative genome-based approach, the first broadly effective MenB vaccine, BexseroÂ(GSK Vaccines), was developed and has been licensed for use in various age groups by the EU and other regulatory authorities. Genes encoding for the main meningococcus B antigens were identified and screened in order to achieve a broadly protective vaccine, taking into account the fact that meningococcus B has many different subtypes whose membrane proteins may be different. Since the antigens selected for Bexsero are also harbored by meningococci belonging to other serogroups there may be the potential for Bexsero® to offer a certain level of protection against non-B serogroups. Therefore preliminary studies were carried out to investigate the potential of the vaccine to also provide a degree of cross protection against non-B serogroups. Here we review the potential for Bexsero® to offer a certain level of protection against the diversity of meningococcus type B subtypes and its potential ability to offer some cross protection from non-B serogroups. Lastly, we describe the future perspectives in pentavalent meningococcal vaccine (ABCWY) development which hopefully will result in a vaccine able to help prevent Invasive Meningococcal Diseases (IMD) from the majority of currently circulating meningococcal strains.


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