Limited data are available on the kinetics of meningococcal serogroup C (MenC)-specific antibody responses following parenteral or nasal challenge in those who have received prior MenC vaccination (polysaccharide or conjugate). Young adults who had previously received either meningococcal A/C polysaccharide (MACP) or MenC conjugate (MCC) vaccine or naïve subjects were challenged with MACP via one of two routes, nasal or parenteral. Blood samples were taken prevaccination and on days 1 to 4 and day 10 postvaccination. MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) and MenC-specific IgG were measured. Following parenteral challenge, MenC SBA and IgG responses were seen to occur between 4 and 7 days postchallenge. A lower proportion of subjects responded following nasal challenge, with naïve subjects showing little change in SBA geometric mean titer (GMT) and IgG geometric mean concentration (GMC) over the 10 days following challenge. Increases in SBA GMTs were seen between 4 and 7 days after nasal challenge in those who had received prior MCC and between 7 and 10 days in those who had received prior MACP, and the responses in the prior-MACP group were of lower magnitude than the responses of the prior-MCC group. The data presented here indicate that, following MCC vaccination, memory has been induced at the mucosal level, and these subjects were able to respond with increases in SBA levels. These results demonstrate that the speed of response (primary or secondary) to challenge with MenC polysaccharide via the nasal or parenteral route does not differ and support concerns that immunological memory alone is too slow to provide protection
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