Advances in meningococcal vaccines

Author(s): Mariagrazia Pizza, Lisa DeTora and James Wassil

During the 20th century, meningococcal vaccine manufacturers took advantage of conjugate technology to provide products that could protect infants, the most vulnerable population, against invasive disease caused by serogroup C. These conjugate vaccines induce anamnestic responses and induce herd protection. Today, quadrivalent conjugate vaccines against serogroups A, C, W‑135 and Y are available to protect all age groups. Several combination formulations are available in developed countries and a novel, low-cost serogroup A conjugate has been implemented in three counties in the African meningitis belt. 20th century approaches to serogroup B included two outer membrane vesicle vaccines against specific outbreak strains. The 21st century saw the development of several additional promising vaccine candidates based on subcapsular surface proteins. These include a licensed outer membrane vesicle product against the New Zealand outbreak.