Meningococcal conjugate vaccines: Optimizing global impact

Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Applied Sciences, Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office.
Infection and Drug Resistance 09/2011; 4(1):161-9. DOI: 10.2147/IDR.S21545
Source: PubMed


Meningococcal conjugate vaccines have several advantages over polysaccharide vaccines, including the ability to induce greater antibody persistence, avidity, immunologic memory, and herd immunity. Since 1999, meningococcal conjugate vaccine programs have been established across the globe. Many of these vaccination programs have resulted in significant decline in meningococcal disease in several countries. Recent introduction of serogroup A conjugate vaccine in Africa offers the potential to eliminate meningococcal disease as a public health problem in Africa. However, the duration of immune response and the development of widespread herd immunity in the population remain important questions for meningococcal vaccine programs. Because of the unique epidemiology of meningococcal disease around the world, the optimal vaccination strategy for long-term disease prevention will vary by country.

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    • "Immunizing children with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has had enormous herd benefits for their parents and grandparents [13]. Similarly for meningococcal disease, vaccinating children against serogroup C and, more recently, against serogroup A diseases has produced significant herd benefits to adults [14,15]. The study by Murray and colleagues adds to a large body of evidence suggesting that the risk of meningococcal disease in children increases on exposure to second-hand smoking and/or smoker contacts. "
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    ABSTRACT: Active smoking is a recognized risk factor of various infectious diseases. In a systematic review published in BMC Public Health, Murray et al. demonstrated that exposure to passive smoking significantly increased the risk of meningococcal disease among children. Their review especially highlights that the risk remains high even if the exposure occurs during pregnancy or after birth, although the authors could not disentangle the independent effects of smoking during pregnancy from those in the postnatal period. How passive smoking increases the risk of childhood meningococcal disease is not precisely known. Both exposure to 'smoke', or 'smokers' (who are highly susceptible to pharyngeal carriage of meningococci) are postulated mechanisms, but unfortunately very few studies have examined the risk of exposure by considering these two variables separately, and this therefore remains a research priority. Quitting may well be the mainstay of preventing tobacco-related hazards but the available global data suggest that most smokers are reluctant to quit. Among other interventions, immunizing children with a meningococcal conjugate vaccine could, theoretically, reduce the risk of meningococcal disease among children and their smoker household contacts through herd immunity. See related article
    BMC Medicine 12/2012; 10(1):160. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-10-160 · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An affordable, highly immunogenic Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A meningococcal conjugate vaccine (PsA-TT) was licensed for use in sub-Saharan Africa in 2009. In 2010, Burkina Faso became the first country to implement a national prevention campaign, vaccinating 11·4 million people aged 1-29 years. We analysed national surveillance data around PsA-TT introduction to investigate the early effect of the vaccine on meningitis incidence and epidemics. We examined national population-based meningitis surveillance data from Burkina Faso using two sources, one with cases and deaths aggregated at the district level from 1997 to 2011, and the other enhanced with results of cerebrospinal fluid examination and laboratory testing from 2007 to 2011. We compared mortality rates and incidence of suspected meningitis, probable meningococcal meningitis by age, and serogroup-specific meningococcal disease before and during the first year after PsA-TT implementation. We assessed the risk of meningitis disease and death between years. During the 14 year period before PsA-TT introduction, Burkina Faso had 148 603 cases of suspected meningitis with 17 965 deaths, and 174 district-level epidemics. After vaccine introduction, there was a 71% decline in risk of meningitis (hazard ratio 0·29, 95% CI 0·28-0·30, p<0·0001) and a 64% decline in risk of fatal meningitis (0·36, 0·33-0·40, p<0·0001). We identified a statistically significant decline in risk of probable meningococcal meningitis across the age group targeted for vaccination (62%, cumulative incidence ratio [CIR] 0·38, 95% CI 0·31-0·45, p<0·0001), and among children aged less than 1 year (54%, 0·46, 0·24-0·86, p=0·02) and people aged 30 years and older (55%, 0·45, 0·22-0·91, p=0·003) who were ineligible for vaccination. No cases of serogroup A meningococcal meningitis occurred among vaccinated individuals, and epidemics were eliminated. The incidence of laboratory-confirmed serogroup A N meningitidis dropped significantly to 0·01 per 100 000 individuals per year, representing a 99·8% reduction in the risk of meningococcal A meningitis (CIR 0·002, 95% CI 0·0004-0·02, p<0·0001). Early evidence suggests the conjugate vaccine has substantially reduced the rate of meningitis in people in the target age group, and in the general population because of high coverage and herd immunity. These data suggest that fully implementing the PsA-TT vaccine could end epidemic meningitis of serogroup A in sub-Saharan Africa. None.
    The Lancet Infectious Diseases 07/2012; 12(10):757-64. DOI:10.1016/S1473-3099(12)70168-8 · 22.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Invasive meningococcal disease is a rare but potentially devastating disease in travelers. In the past 5 years, significant progress in vaccine development has been made. The purpose of this review is to provide up-to-date information on the current status of risk of meningococcal disease in travelers and vaccine recommendations. More evidence on cases of meningococcal disease in travelers is now available. The main areas of highest risk for travelers continue to be the Hajj pilgrimage and travel to the meningitis belt. Two new tetravalent conjugate vaccines against serogroups A, C, W135 and Y have been licensed in North America, Europe and other countries. Significant progress has been made in the development of serogroup B vaccines. The vaccine of choice for travelers at risk of invasive meningococcal disease is a tetravalent conjugate meningococcal vaccine. Data on the need for re-vaccination schedules are still lacking, and so are data on immunogenicity in very young children and the elderly. The first vaccine against serogroup B may become available in early 2013 thus expanding the options of broadening the protection against more serogroups for travelers. Furthermore, the development of pentavalent vaccines will increase the uptake of meningococcal vaccines in the future.
    Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 08/2012; 25(5):507-17. DOI:10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283574c06 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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