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Improved immunogenicity of a H44/76 group B outer membrane vesicle vaccine with over-expressed genome-derived Neisserial antigen 1870

, , and . Vaccine 25 (10): 1912--20 (February 2007)PMID: 16677743.


A broadly protective vaccine against meningococcal group B disease is not available. We previously reported that an outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccine containing over-expressed genome-derived antigen (GNA) 1870 elicited broader protective antibody responses than recombinant GNA1870 or conventional OMV vaccines prepared from a strain that naturally expresses low amounts of GNA1870. Certain wildtype strains such as H44/76 naturally express larger amounts of GNA1870 and, potentially, could be used to prepare an improved OMV vaccine without genetic over-expression of the antigen. We transformed H44/76 with a shuttle vector to over-express variant 1 (v.1) GNA1870 and compared the immunogenicity in mice of OMV vaccines prepared from wildtype H44/76 (v.1), the mutant, and a recombinant v.1 GNA1870 vaccine. Mice immunized with OMV with over-expressed GNA1870 developed broader serum bactericidal and/or greater C3 deposition activity on the surface of encapsulated strains of N. meningitidis than control mice immunized with the OMV vaccine prepared from the wildtype strain, or the rGNA1870 vaccine. When a panel of group B strains from patients in California was tested, sera from mice immunized with the OMV vaccine containing over-expressed GNA1870 were bactericidal against 100\% of the v.1 strains. In contrast, only 20\% of isolates that expressed subvariants of the v.1 GNA1870 protein were susceptible to bactericidal activity of antibodies elicited by the rGNA1870 or conventional OMV vaccines. Thus, even a modest increase in GNA1870 expression in a strain that naturally is a high producer of GNA1870 results in an OMV vaccine that elicits broader protection against meningococcal disease.

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