Review of Meningococcal Group B Vaccines


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Abstract

No broadly effective vaccines are available for prevention of group B meningococcal disease, which accounts for>50% of all cases. The group B capsule is an autoantigen and is not a suitable vaccine target. Outer-membrane vesicle vaccines appear to be safe and effective, but serum bactericidal responses in infants are specific for a porin protein, PorA, which is antigenically variable. To broaden protection, outer-membrane vesicle vaccines have been prepared from>1 strain, from mutants with>1 PorA, or from mutants with genetically detoxified endotoxin and overexpressed desirable antigens, such as factor H binding protein. Also, recombinant protein vaccines such as factor H binding protein, given alone or in combination with other antigens, are in late-stage clinical development and may be effective against the majority of group B strains. Thus, the prospects have never been better for developing vaccines for prevention of meningococcal disease, including that caused by group B strains.

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