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Lack of Serum Bactericidal Activity in Preschool Children Two Years After a Single Dose of Serogroup C Meningococcal Polysaccharide-Protein Conjugate Vaccine

Snape, Matthew D. FRACP*; Kelly, Dominic F. MRCPCH*; Green, Ben; Moxon, E Richard FRCPCH*; Borrow, Ray PhD; Pollard, Andrew J. FRCPCH, PhD*

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: February 2005 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p 128-131
doi: 10.1097/01.inf.0000151029.58752.27
Original Studies

Background: There is an increased risk of invasive meningococcal disease during the teenage years. A cohort of children vaccinated with a single dose of meningococcal C protein-polysaccharide conjugate (MenC) vaccine in early childhood during the U.K. catch up campaign will enter this age group during the coming decade. The duration of protective immunity against invasive meningococcal C disease provided by this single dose regimen is uncertain.

A serum bactericidal titer of <1/8 correlates with susceptibility to invasive meningococcal disease. We assessed this correlate of protection in a cohort of children ∼2 years after a single dose of vaccine.

Methods: Serum bactericidal activity was assessed in 94 children (median age, 4.0 years) at a median time of 1.8 years after vaccination.

Results: Of the 94 children, 59 (63%) had a serum bactericidal titer <1/8.

Conclusion: The data from this study add to previous evidence indicating that immunity wanes rapidly after vaccination with serogroup C meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccines in infancy and early childhood. Such observations suggest that booster doses of MenC vaccine may be needed to maintain the successful contribution this vaccine has made to child health in the United Kingdom.

From the *Oxford Vaccine Group, Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; and the †Health Protection Agency Meningococcal Reference Unit, Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom

Accepted for publication September 2, 2004.

Supported jointly by the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and the Health Protection Agency.

Drs Pollard and Moxon have conducted clinical trials and undertaken basic research on behalf of Oxford University, sponsored by manufacturers of MenC, and have received assistance from vaccine manufacturers to attend scientific meetings. During 2004–2005, Professor Moxon was a consultant to Chiron Vaccines on meningococcal disease and vaccine development.

Address for reprints: Dr M. D. Snape, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Level 4, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, United Kingdom. Fax 44 (0)1865 857420; E-mail

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.