A vaccine not yet licensed in the
It is estimated that 1,400 to 2,800 cases of invasive meningococcal disease occur in the
Matthew D. Snape, F.R.A.C.P., of the Oxford Vaccine Group,
The study included 421 healthy infants in the
“In this study, we have demonstrated that a primary immunization course of the novel tetravalent meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccine MenACWY was well tolerated and immunogenic for serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y when given to healthy infants at either two, three, and four months or two, four, and six months of age,” the authors write.
The study found that at least 92 percent of infants who received the two-, three-, four-month schedule had protective antibody levels to all four serogroups. For the two-, four-, six-month schedule, similar results were obtained for the C, W-135, and Y serogroups, but the proportion of infants with protective antibody levels against serogroup A was lower at 81 percent.
In the two-, four-month primary series groups, at least 84 percent had protective antibody levels to three of the four serogroups, while 60 to 66 percent of infants had protective levels against serogroup A. After a booster dose at 12 months, at least 95 percent developed protective antibody levels to three of the four serogroups, and 84 percent for serogroup A.
“In conclusion, MenACWY was well tolerated and immunogenic in the first year of life,” the authors write. “This vaccine therefore extends the immune protection provided by the monovalent MenC vaccine to serogroups A, W-135, and Y in infancy.”
In an accompanying editorial, Lee H. Harrison, M.D., of the Infectious Diseases Epidemology Research Unit,
“In this issue of JAMA, the report by Snape and colleagues represents a substantial advance in the vaccine prevention of meningococcal disease because it provides evidence for a well-tolerated and immunogenic tetravalent (serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y) conjugate vaccine for infants.”
“Assuming that the vaccine eventually becomes licensed, additional questions will likely be addressed postlicensure. The duration of immunity is an important issue to determine whether additional doses will need to be given between a childhood series and adolescence,” Dr. Harrison writes. “Taken together with other ongoing progress, the outlook for comprehensive global prevention of this devastating disease has never been better.”
1. JAMA. 2008; 299(2):173-184.
2. JAMA. 2008; 299(2):217-219.