• Meningococcal Serogroup ACWYX Conjugate Vaccine in Malian Toddlers

      Tapia, Milagritos D; Sow, Samba O; Naficy, Abdi; Diallo, Fatoumata; Haidara, Fadima C; Chaudhari, Amol; Martellet, Lionel; Traore, Awa; Townsend-Payne, Kelly; Borrow, Ray; et al. (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2021-06-03)
      BACKGROUND: Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, B, C, W, X, and Y cause outbreaks of meningococcal disease. Quadrivalent conjugate vaccines targeting the A, C, W, and Y serogroups are available. A pentavalent vaccine that also includes serogroup X (NmCV-5) is under development. METHODS: We conducted a phase 2, observer-blinded, randomized, controlled trial involving Malian children 12 to 16 months of age. Participants were assigned in a 2:2:1 ratio to receive nonadjuvanted NmCV-5, alum-adjuvanted NmCV-5, or the quadrivalent vaccine MenACWY-D, administered intramuscularly in two doses 12 weeks apart. Participants were followed for safety for 169 days. Immunogenicity was assessed with an assay for serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) with rabbit complement on days 0, 28, 84, and 112. RESULTS: A total of 376 participants underwent randomization, with 150 assigned to each NmCV-5 group and 76 to the MenACWY-D group; 362 participants received both doses of vaccine. A total of 1% of the participants in the nonadjuvanted NmCV-5 group, 1% of those in the adjuvanted NmCV-5 group, and 4% of those in the MenACWY-D group reported local solicited adverse events; 6%, 5%, and 7% of the participants, respectively, reported systemic solicited adverse events. An SBA titer of at least 128 was seen in 91 to 100% (for all five serotypes) of the participants in the NmCV-5 groups and in 36 to 99% (excluding serogroup X) of those in the MenACWY-D group at day 84 (before the second dose); the same threshold was met in 99 to 100% (for all five serotypes) of the participants in the NmCV-5 groups and in 92 to 100% (excluding serogroup X) of those in the MenACWY-D group at day 112. Immune responses to the nonadjuvanted and adjuvanted NmCV-5 formulations were similar. CONCLUSIONS: No safety concerns were identified with two doses of NmCV-5. A single dose of NmCV-5 elicited immune responses that were similar to those observed with two doses of MenACWY-D. Adjuvanted NmCV-5 provided no discernible benefit over nonadjuvanted NmCV-5. (Funded by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03295318. opens in new tab.)
    • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Neutralizing Antibodies at Birth Predict Protection from RSV Illness in Infants in the First 3 Months of Life.

      Buchwald, Andrea G; Graham, Barney S; Traore, Awa; Haidara, Fadima Cheick; Chen, Man; Morabito, Kaitlyn; Lin, Bob C; Sow, Samba O; Levine, Myron M; Pasetti, Marcela F; et al. (Oxford University Press, 2021-12-06)
      BACKGROUND: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of viral pneumonia and bronchiolitis during the first 6 months of life. Placentally transferred antibodies can prevent severe RSV illness, and maternal immunization may reduce illness in young infants. Identification of protective antibody levels facilitates the advancement of vaccine candidates and maternal immunization. METHODS: We conducted a nested case-control study with 587 Malian mother-infant pairs, followed from birth to age 6 months. RSV cases were infants who developed influenza-like illness (ILI) or pneumonia and were RSV-positive by polymerase chain reaction. Cases were matched to healthy controls and RSV-negative ILI controls. RSV-A and RSV-B neutralizing antibodies were measured in maternal, cord blood, and infant sera at age 3 and 6 months. RESULTS: Maternal antibodies were efficiently transferred to infants. Maternal and infant RSV titers were strongly correlated. Infant antibody titers against RSV-A were 3 times higher than those against RSV-B. At birth, infants who remained healthy had significantly higher RSV-A and RSV-B titers compared with infants who subsequently contracted RSV. RSV-A inhibitory concentration (IC)80 titer >239 or RSV-B titer >60 at birth was significantly associated with being a healthy control compared with an RSV case within the first 3 months of life. RSV-A IC80 titers in cord blood were associated with decreased episodes of pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Maternally acquired RSV antibodies were associated with protection of infants against community-detected cases of RSV-ILI and pneumonia. RSV titers in cord blood can predict whether an infant will be infected with RSV or remain uninfected.