Meningococcal B vaccine is immunogenic when given with other infant vaccines

February 16, 2012

A multicomponent meningococcal B (4CMenB) vaccine induces an immune response in healthy infants and can be given safely with other routine vaccines, according to a European multisite, randomized study. Read why study results suggest that 4CMenB can be incorporated into various immunization schedules.

A multicomponent meningococcal B vaccine (4CMenB) induces an immune response in healthy infants and can be given safely with other routine vaccines, according to a European multisite, randomized study.

Serogroup B Neisseria meningitidis (MenB) remains a major cause of invasive disease in early childhood in industrialized countries, researchers say, so they tested 4CMenB in 1,885 infants aged 2 months.

The infants were randomized to either a control group that received only routine vaccines at 2, 3 and 4 months or groups that received 4CMenB vaccine together with routine vaccines at 2, 4, and 6 months; 4CMenB together with routine vaccines at 2, 3, and 4 months; or 4CMenB at 2, 4, and 6 months with routine vaccines given separately at 3, 5, and 7 months.

The 4CMenB vaccine was immunogenic, achieving human serum bactericidal antibody titers of 1:5 or greater, against all vaccine antigens in tested MenB strains at either dosing schedule, with or without routine vaccines.

That the vaccine was immunogenic when administered in a 2-, 3-, and 4-month schedule is “an important finding given the high rates of MenB disease in the first 6 months of life,” according to the researchers. “These results suggest that there can be some flexibility in the incorporation of 4CMenB into the various immunization schedules used in different countries.”

Further, the immune response to the routine vaccines when administered with 4CMenB was similar to the response in the controls, except for a slightly reduced immune response to pneumococcal serotype B6 and pertactin.

These reduced responses are unlikely to be clinically significant, because acellular pertussis vaccines without pertactin are known to be effective, and evidence suggests that disease resulting from pneumococcal serotype 6B is lower in countries that have implemented vaccination with the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

Fever developed in 26% to 41% of patient given the 4CMenB vaccine alone and 51% to 61% of those given the 4CMenB vaccine together with the routine vaccines.

Serogroup B causes more than 50% of meningitis cases in children younger than 1 year. No licensed vaccine currently is available for serogroup B in the United States.

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