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New Meningococcal Vaccine Proves Effective for Infants

Tetravalent glycoconjugate vaccine tested in randomized, controlled trial

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A new glycoconjugate vaccine against invasive meningococcal infections in infants has proved to be immunologically effective against serogroups A, C, W-135 and Y, researchers report in the Jan. 9/16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Matthew D. Snape, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues enrolled 421 healthy 2-month-old infants in the U.K. and Canada for a phase 2, open-label, randomized, controlled trial. The novel vaccine, MenACWY, was administered intramuscularly in three primary schedules: 2, 3 and 4 months; 2, 4 and 6 months; and 2 and 4 months.

MenACWY proved immunogenic for all four serogroups after both three-dose protocols. Although the two-dose primary series given at 2 and 4 months resulted in lower seroprotection rates for serogroup A, administration of a booster dose of MenACWY at 12 months resulted in at least 95 percent of participants achieving protection against serogroups C, W-135 and Y, and at least 84 percent for serogroup A. Reactions and adverse events attributed to MenACWY were described as minimal.

"The study by Snape and colleagues represents a major advance in the vaccine prevention of meningococcal disease. Taken together with other ongoing progress, the outlook for comprehensive global prevention of this devastating disease has never been better," concludes the author of an accompanying editorial.

This study was sponsored by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics and most of its authors report financial relationships with Novartis and/or other pharmaceutical companies, as does the author of the editorial.

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