Meningococcal serogroup C immunogenicity, antibody persistence and memory B-cells induced by the monovalent meningococcal serogroup C versus quadrivalent meningococcal serogroup ACWY conjugate booster vaccine: A randomized controlled trial

Mariëtte B. van Ravenhorst*, Fiona R.M. van der Klis, Debbie M. van Rooijen, Mirjam J. Knol, Susanne P. Stoof, Elisabeth A.M. Sanders, Guy A.M. Berbers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Adolescents are considered the key transmitters of meningococci in the population. Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) antibody levels wane rapidly after MenC conjugate vaccination in young children, leaving adolescents with low antibody levels. In this study, we compared MenC immune responses after booster vaccination in adolescence with either tetanus toxoid conjugated MenC (MenC-TT) or MenACWY (MenACWY-TT) vaccine, and aimed to establish an optimal age for this booster. Methods Healthy 10-, 12-, and 15-year-olds, who received a single dose of MenC-TT vaccine in early childhood, were randomized to receive MenC-TT or MenACWY-TT vaccine. MenC serum bactericidal antibody (rSBA) titers, MenC polysaccharide (PS) specific IgG, IgG1 and IgG2 and MenC-specific IgG and IgA memory B-cells were determined before, one month and one year after the booster. Non-inferiority was tested by comparing geometric mean titers (GMTs) between vaccinees at one year. Results Of 501 participants, 464 (92.6%) were included in the ‘according to protocol’ cohort analysis. At one month, all participants developed high MenC rSBA titers (>24,000 in all groups) and MenC-PS-specific IgG levels. Non-inferiority was not demonstrated one year after the booster with higher MenC GMTs after the monovalent vaccine, but 462/464 (99.6%) participants maintained protective MenC rSBA titers. IgG levels mainly consisted of IgG1, but similar levels of increase were observed for IgG1 and IgG2. Both vaccines induced a clear increase in the number of circulating MenC-PS specific IgG and IgA memory B-cells. Between one month and one year, the highest antibody decay rate was observed in the 10-year-olds. Conclusion Both MenC-TT and MenACWY-TT vaccines induced robust protective MenC immune responses after the booster vaccination, although non-inferiority could not be demonstrated for the MenACWY-TT vaccine after one year. Our results underline the importance of optimal timing of a meningococcal booster vaccination to protect against MenC disease in the long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4745-4752
Number of pages8
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2017

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