Meningococcal vaccines and herd immunity: Lessons learned from serogroup C conjugate vaccination programs

Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Bristol, UK.
Expert Review of Vaccines (Impact Factor: 4.21). 08/2009; 8(7):851-61. DOI: 10.1586/erv.09.48
Source: PubMed


Effective vaccines provide direct protection to immunized individuals, but may also provide benefits to unvaccinated individuals by reducing transmission and thereby lowering the risk of infection. Such herd immunity effects have been demonstrated following the introduction of meningococcal serogroup C conjugate (MCC) vaccines, with reductions in disease attack rates in unimmunized individuals and significantly lower serogroup C carriage attributable to the vaccine introduction. In the UK, targeting teenagers for immunization was crucial in maximizing indirect effects, as most meningococcal transmission occurs in this age group. Questions remain regarding the duration of herd protection and the most appropriate long-term immunization strategies. The magnitude of the herd effects following MCC vaccination was largely unanticipated, and has important consequences for the design and evaluation of new meningococcal vaccines.

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Available from: Martin C J Maiden, Aug 01, 2014
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    • "Modelling has been especially influential when factors such as the actual duration of protection are unknown; in these circumstances, a number of scenarios can be explored and the disease incidence followed to establish which scenario most closely resembles reality. With MCC vaccines this indicated that the protection against carriage after immunization was at the higher ends of expectation, with herd immunity maintained for at least 10 years [123]. This approach can also indicate when further intervention may be necessary [124] and is important in cost effectiveness studies, which have an increasing role in vaccines implementation [125]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The development and implementation of conjugate polysaccharide vaccines against invasive bacterial diseases, specifically those caused by the encapsulated bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae, has been one of the most effective public health innovations of the last 25 years. These vaccines have resulted in significant reductions in childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide, with their effectiveness due in large part to their ability to induce long-lasting immunity in a range of age groups. At the population level this immunity reduces carriage and interrupts transmission resulting in herd immunity; however, these beneficial effects can be counterbalanced by the selection pressures that immunity against carriage can impose, potentially promoting the emergence and spread of virulent vaccine escape variants. Studies following the implementation of meningococcal serogroup C vaccines improved our understanding of these effects in relation to the biology of accidental pathogens such as the meningococcus. This understanding has enabled the refinement of the implementation of conjugate polysaccharide vaccines against meningitis-associated bacteria, and will be crucial in maintaining and improving vaccine control of these infections. To date there is little evidence for the spread of virulent vaccine escape variants of the meningococcus and H. influenzae, although this has been reported in pneumococci.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 08/2013; 368(1623):20120147. DOI:10.1098/rstb.2012.0147 · 7.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Conjugate vaccines also induce herd protection by decreasing the carriage rate in vaccine recipients, which was demonstrated in the UK after a mass vaccination program with conjugate serogroup C vaccines [19]. Herd protection is important in interrupting the transmission of meningococci. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The burden of invasive meningococcal disease is substantial in older adults in whom the case fatality rate is high. Travelers to regions with high rates of meningococcal disease, such as Hajj pilgrims, are at increased risk of meningococcal infection, and disease transmission from travelers to their close contacts has been documented. In younger individuals, meningococcal conjugate vaccines offer advantages over polysaccharide vaccines in terms of duration of protection and boostability, and induction of herd immune effects through reductions in nasopharyngeal carriage of meningococci. To date, few data are available evaluating meningococcal conjugate vaccine use in adults >55 years of age. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the immunogenicity and safety of quadrivalent meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y vaccine with all serogroups conjugated to tetanus toxoid (MenACWY-TT, Nimenrix™, GlaxoSmithKline, Belgium) and a licensed quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine (MenPS, Mencevax™ GlaxoSmithKline, Belgium) in adults >55 years of age. METHODS: This was a phase IIIb, open-label, randomized (3:1), controlled study conducted at one study center in Lebanon. A total of 400 healthy adults between 56 and 103 years of age without previous MenPS or tetanus toxoid vaccination within the previous 5 years or meningococcal conjugate vaccination at any time previously were included. They received a single-dose vaccination with MenACWY-TT or MenPS with blood sampling before and 1 month after vaccination. The main outcome measures were serum bactericidal activity (rabbit complement source: rSBA) vaccine response (VR) rate [rSBA titer of ≥1:32 in initially seronegative subjects (rSBA titer <1:8); ≥4-fold increase in subjects with pre-vaccination rSBA titers between 1:8 and 1:128, and ≥2-fold increase in subjects with pre-vaccination rSBA titers ≥1:128]. The percentages of subjects with rSBA titers ≥1:8 and ≥1:128 and rSBA geometric mean titers (GMTs) were assessed. Solicited adverse events were recorded for 4 days following vaccination, and all other adverse events, including the incidence of new onset chronic diseases, were recorded for 31 days after vaccination. RESULTS: One month after a single dose of MenACWY-TT, the rSBA VR rate in the MenACWY-TT group was 76.6 % for serogroup A, 80.3 % for serogroup C, 77.5 % for serogroup W-135 and 81.9 % for serogroup Y. VR rates in the MenPS group were 91.7, 84.8, 87.1 and 89.1 %, respectively. One month after vaccination, ≥93.2 % of subjects in the MenACWY-TT group and ≥93.9 % in the MenPS group had rSBA titers ≥1:128. In each group, GMTs increased by ≥13-fold for each serogroup. rSBA VR and GMTs tended to be lower in subjects who were over 65 years compared to 56-65 years of age. Only 6.3 % of MenACWY-TT recipients had anti-TT ≥0.1 IU/ml prior to vaccination, increasing to 28.1 % post-vaccination. The rSBA GMTs were 1.9- to 4-fold higher in anti-TT responders. Each local and general solicited symptom was reported by no more than 3.0 % of subjects in either group. No serious adverse events were considered vaccine related. CONCLUSION: In adults 56 years of age and older, MenACWY-TT was immunogenic, with a vaccine response rate ≥76 % and with ≥93 % of subjects achieving rSBA titers ≥1:128 against all four serogroups after a single dose. MenACWY-TT induced low anti-TT concentrations in this population, which deserves further study.
    Drugs & Aging 03/2013; 30(5). DOI:10.1007/s40266-013-0065-0 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, polysaccharide vaccines may induce hyporesponsiveness to subsequent vaccination, in particular for serogroup C [17]. To overcome these limitations, capsular polysaccharides can be coupled to carrier proteins as demonstrated by monovalent meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccines [21-24]. In 2010, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia decided to replace the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccines by meningococcal conjugate vaccines for Saudi Arabian pilgrims, residents of Medina and Mecca Regions, and healthcare workers [12,13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The best strategy to protect individuals against meningococcal disease is to immunize against multiple serogroups. Immunogenicity, antibody persistence, and safety of the EU-licensed meningococcal ACWY-tetanus toxoid conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-TT) were evaluated in healthy participants aged 11-55 years from the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. In this phase IIb, open, controlled study, 500 participants were randomised (3:1) to receive one dose of MenACWY-TT or a licensed meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Men-PS). Functional antibody responses against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y were assessed by a serum bactericidal antibody assay using rabbit complement (rSBA) at Month 0, Month 1, Year 1, Year 2, and Year 3. Vaccine response was defined as an rSBA titre ≥32 at Month 1 in participants who were seronegative (rSBA titre <8) pre-vaccination and as at least a four-fold increase in titre in participants who were seropositive pre-vaccination. Solicited symptoms were recorded up to Day 4, safety outcomes up to Month 6, and serious adverse events related to vaccination up to Year 3. Pre-specified criteria for non-inferiority of MenACWY-TT versus Men-PS were met in terms of rSBA vaccine response and incidence of grade 3 general symptoms. At Month 1, 82.7%-96.3% of MenACWY-TT and 69.7%-91.7% in Men-PS recipients had a vaccine response for each serogroup. At Year 3, ≥99.1% and ≥92.9% of MenACWY-TT recipients retained rSBA titres ≥8 and ≥128, respectively, as compared to ≥86.7% and ≥80.0% in the Men-PS group. Both vaccines had a clinically acceptable safety profile, although injection site redness and swelling were more frequent in MenACWY-TT recipients. These results suggest that MenACWY-TT could protect adolescents and adults against meningococcal disease up to three years post-vaccination. This study is registered at
    BMC Infectious Diseases 03/2013; 13(1):116. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-116 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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