Neisseria meningitidis group C polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid conjugate was prepared to obtain the polysaccharide component in a thymus-dependent form and to preserve the immunogenic properties of the tetanus toxoid component. Biochemical and immunochemical analyses of this conjugate revealed that (i) it was composed of equal amounts of polysaccharide and protein; (ii) the antigenic activity of the polysaccharide component was greatly reduced; (iii) it contained about 10% free polysaccharide; (iv) the composition was not homogeneous; and (v) only 5% of the tetanus toxoid component was present at the surface of the conjugate molecules. In this study, the influence of these characteristics on the antibody response to both components in mice was investigated. The dose-response relationship, the persistence of antibodies, a possible antigenic competition, and the specificities of the antibodies induced were also studied. Our data suggest that the conjugate behaves as a pronounced thymus-dependent antigen, that the tetanus toxoid component is more immunogenic at lower dosages (0.8 and 20 ng) than equivalent doses of tetanus vaccine, that the presence of free polysaccharide does not influence the induction of antibodies to polysaccharide by the conjugate, and that no antibodies to new structures in the conjugate are induced. These characteristics favor the application of this conjugate as a vaccine for human use
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.