Understanding the Immune Response to Meningitis Vaccines

2014-08-27 03:22:09 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of the study is to evaluate and compare the immune response to two vaccines against 4 related bacteria: meningococcal serogroups A, C, W−135 and Y. These bacteria can cause meningitis and /or septicaemia (blood poisoning). The two vaccines are a protein−polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)and a meningococcal plain polysaccharide vaccine(MenACWY PS). Both vaccines are licensed and are currently used for travellers to areas with a high incidence of invasive meningococcal disease. However, plain polysaccharide vaccines are known to be poorly immunogenic in children and they do not stimulate immunological memory, apart from the serogroup A component. In contrast, a protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccine against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W−135 and Y has been found to be immunogenic in infants and to be able to induce immunological memory.

The proposed study is a single centre, open−label, randomised, controlled study in 150 healthy adults aged 18−70 years. The participants will be given either 2 injections of the meningococcal protein−polysaccharide conjugate vaccine one month apart, or one injection of the meningococcal plain polysaccharide vaccine followed one month later with an injection of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Blood samples will be collected before immunisation and at several time points following immunisations to evaluate the level of meningococcal specific antibody induced by two different vaccination regimes. The data derived from the study will be relevant in determining which of these vaccines should be used in preference in travellers who are receiving immunisation against meningococcal disease before travelling to high risk areas. Additionally, a number of scientific questions regarding the nature of the immune response to the two vaccines (specifically looking at the white blood cells responsible for producing antibodies, known as B cells) and the role of genetic variations in influencing the vaccine recipient's immune response will be addressed in the study.


In this single centre, open−label, randomised, controlled study of 150 healthy adults aged 18−70 years we will be evaluating the immune response to immunisation with 2 different vaccines against 4 related bacteria known as Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, W−135 and Y. These bacteria (also known as meningococci) can produce meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). The first vaccine, which has been used as a travel vaccine in the UK for several years, is known as the MenACWY plain polysaccharide (MenACWY PS). The other vaccine, known as the MenACWY conjugate vaccine (MenACWY) was licensed in the UK in March 2010 and is now recommended as a travel vaccine by the Department of Health.

In order to evaluate the immune response to these vaccines we will be measuring not only the blood levels of antibodies specific to serogroup A, C, W−135 and Y meningococci, but also the population of white blood cells known as B cells which produce these antibodies. Two forms of these B cells will be measured, the plasma cells (which actively produce antibodies) and memory B cells (which do not produce antibodies but persist in the body and can be stimulated to turn into plasma cells when required).

Participants will be randomised into group I or group II on a 1:1 basis to receive either MenACWY or MenACWY PS. One month later, all participants will receive a booster dose of the MenACWY conjugate vaccine. The ACWY polysaccharide vaccine will be administered subcutaneously, and the MenACWY conjugate vaccine will be given intramuscularly. Each participant will be observed for at least 15 minutes after vaccination for any immediate reactions.

Blood samples will be collected from each participant for analysis prior to each immunisation, 7 days following the first immunisation and 7 and 28 days following the second immunisation. The volume of blood samples obtained at each timepoint will be 20 mLs. Blood will be used for antibody analysis (by ELISA), B cell analysis (by ELISpot)and DNA extraction for genetic analysis.

In summary, participants enrolled in this study will have a total of 5 visits in a period of 2 months. They will receive two doses of the MenACWY conjugate vaccine or one dose of the ACWY polysaccharide vaccine followed by one dose of the MenACWY conjugate vaccine. During this period they will have a total of 5 blood samples taken (5x20mL= 100 mL of blood taken in a 2 month period).

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Prevention




MenACWY (Menveo), ACWY Vax and Menveo


University of Oxford, Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine
United Kingdom




University of Oxford

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:22:09-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

A species of gram-negative, aerobic BACTERIA. It is a commensal and pathogen only of humans, and can be carried asymptomatically in the NASOPHARYNX. When found in cerebrospinal fluid it is the causative agent of cerebrospinal meningitis (MENINGITIS, MENINGOCOCCAL). It is also found in venereal discharges and blood. There are at least 13 serogroups based on antigenic differences in the capsular polysaccharides; the ones causing most meningitis infections being A, B, C, Y, and W-135. Each serogroup can be further classified by serotype, serosubtype, and immunotype.

Inflammation of the coverings of the brain and/or spinal cord, which consist of the PIA MATER; ARACHNOID; and DURA MATER. Infections (viral, bacterial, and fungal) are the most common causes of this condition, but subarachnoid hemorrhage (HEMORRHAGES, SUBARACHNOID), chemical irritation (chemical MENINGITIS), granulomatous conditions, neoplastic conditions (CARCINOMATOUS MENINGITIS), and other inflammatory conditions may produce this syndrome. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1994, Ch24, p6)

Meningitis caused by fungal agents which may occur as OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS or arise in immunocompetent hosts.

A species of ENTEROVIRUS associated with outbreaks of aseptic meningitis (MENINGITIS, ASEPTIC).

A fulminant infection of the meninges and subarachnoid fluid by the bacterium NEISSERIA MENINGITIDIS, producing diffuse inflammation and peri-meningeal venous thromboses. Clinical manifestations include FEVER, nuchal rigidity, SEIZURES, severe HEADACHE, petechial rash, stupor, focal neurologic deficits, HYDROCEPHALUS, and COMA. The organism is usually transmitted via nasopharyngeal secretions and is a leading cause of meningitis in children and young adults. Organisms from Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, B, C, Y, and W-135 have been reported to cause meningitis. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp689-701; Curr Opin Pediatr 1998 Feb;10(1):13-8)

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