Newer meningitis vaccine appears safe and effective for infants

Jan 08, 2008

A vaccine not yet licensed in the United States produces immunity against four strains of meningococcal disease and is well tolerated when administered to infants, according to a study in the January 9/16 issue of JAMA.

It is estimated that 1,400 to 2,800 cases of invasive meningococcal disease occur in the United States each year, and that ten to 14 percent of people who contract the disease will die. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices now advises immunization with a tetravalent vaccine (serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y) for all 11- to 18-year-olds. However, the currently licensed vaccine is poorly immunogenic in infancy, when the highest rates of disease are observed, according to background information in the article.

Matthew D. Snape, F.R.A.C.P., of the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford, England, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled study to determine the immunogenicity of a novel tetravalent meningococcal vaccine known as MenACWY in infants. Unlike the currently licensed vaccine, MenACWY uses a natural mutant of the diphtheria toxin.

The study included 421 healthy infants in the United Kingdom and Canada who received one of three different dosing schedules of MenACWY, or a monovalent vaccine against the meningitis C serogroup. The authors determined the proportion of babies who had protective antibody levels after receiving the vaccine. They also assessed vaccine safety and reactogenicity (the capacity to produce adverse reactions).

“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.”

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: More than a quarter of emergency contraceptives in Peru falsified or substandard

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

21 minutes ago

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

59 minutes ago

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

Chimpanzees prefer firm, stable beds

2 hours ago

Chimpanzees may select a certain type of wood, Ugandan Ironwood, over other options for its firm, stable, and resilient properties to make their bed, according to a study published April 16, 2014 in the open-access ...

Recommended for you

Study recalculates costs of combination vaccines

Apr 17, 2014

One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive ...

Drug watchdog urges vigilance in cancer drug theft

Apr 17, 2014

Europe's medicine watchdog urged doctors Thursday to be vigilant in administering the cancer drug Herceptin, vials of which had been stolen in Italy and tampered with before being sold back into the supply chain.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Less-schooled whites lose longevity, study finds

Barbara Gentry slowly shifts her heavy frame out of a chair and uses a walker to move the dozen feet to a chair not far from the pool table at the Buford Senior Center. Her hair is white and a cough sometimes interrupts her ...

How to keep your fitness goals on track

(HealthDay)—The New Year's resolutions many made to get fit have stalled by now. And one expert thinks that's because many people set their goals too high.

Low tolerance for pain? The reason may be in your genes

Researchers may have identified key genes linked to why some people have a higher tolerance for pain than others, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual ...

AMA examines economic impact of physicians

(HealthDay)—Physicians who mainly engage in patient care contribute a total of $1.6 trillion in economic output, according to the American Medical Association (AMA)'s Economic Impact Study.

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.