443 research outputs found

    Direct Ex-Vivo Evaluation of Pneumococcal Specific T-Cells in Healthy Adults

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    Streptococcus pneumoniae is an encapsulated bacterium that causes significant global morbidity and mortality. The nasopharynxes of children are believed to be the natural reservoir of pneumococcus and by adulthood nasopharyngeal carriage is infrequent; such infrequency may be due to demonstrable pneumococcal specific T and B-cell responses. HLA Class 2 tetrameric complexes have been used to characterise antigen specific T-cell responses in a variety of models of infection. We therefore sought to determine the frequency and phenotype of pneumococcal specific T-cells, using a novel HLA-DRB1*1501 tetramer complex incorporating a recently defined T-cell epitope derived from the conserved pneumococcal serine/threonine kinase (StkP). We were able to detect direct ex-vivo StkP446–60-tetramer binding in HLA-DRB1*1501 adults. These StkP446–60-tetramer binding T-cells had increased CD38 expression and were enriched in CCR7- CD45RA+ expression indicating recent and on-going activation and differentiation. Furthermore, these StkP446–60-tetramer binding T-cells demonstrated rapid effector function by secreting interferon-gamma on stimulation with recombinant StkP. This is the first study to directly enumerate and characterise pneumococcal specific T-cells using HLA class 2 tetrameric complexes. We found that ex-vivo pneumococcal-specific T cells were detectable in healthy adults and that they were enriched with cell surface markers associated with recent antigen exposure and later stages of antigen-driven differentiation. It is likely that these activated pneumococcal specific T-cells reflect recent immunostimulatory pneumococcal exposure in the nasopharynx and it is possible that they may be preventing subsequent colonisation and disease

    Genomic surveillance of 4CMenB vaccine antigenic variants among disease-causing Neisseria meningitidis isolates, United Kingdom, 2010–2016

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    In September 2015, 4CMenB meningococcal vaccine was introduced into the United Kingdom infant immunization program without phase 3 trial information. Understanding the effect of this program requires enhanced surveillance of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) Neisseria meningitidis isolates and comparison with prevaccination isolates. Bexsero Antigen Sequence Types (BASTs) were used to analyze whole-genome sequences of 3,073 prevaccine IMD N. meningitidis isolates obtained during 2010−2016. Isolates exhibited 803 BASTs among 31 clonal complexes. Frequencies of antigen peptide variants were factor H binding protein 1, 13.4%; Neisserial heparin-binding antigen 2, 13.8%; Neisseria adhesin A 8, 0.8%; and Porin A-VR2:P1.4,10.9%. In 2015−16, serogroup B isolates showed the highest proportion (35.7%) of exact matches to >1 Bexsero components. Serogroup W isolates showed the highest proportion (93.9%) of putatively cross-reactive variants of Bexsero antigens. Results highlighted the likely role of cross-reactive antigens. BAST surveillance of meningococcal whole-genome sequence data is rapid, scalable, and portable and enables international comparisons of isolates

    Using the Indirect Cohort Design to Estimate the Effectiveness of the Seven Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in England and Wales

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    BACKGROUND: The 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) was introduced in the United Kingdom in 2006 with a 2, 3 and 13 month schedule, and has led to large decreases in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) caused by the vaccine serotypes in both vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts. We estimated the effectiveness of PCV-7 against IPD. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used enhanced surveillance data, collated at the Health Protection Agency, on vaccine type (n = 153) and non vaccine type (n = 919) IPD cases eligible for PCV-7. The indirect cohort method, a case-control type design which uses non vaccine type cases as controls, was used to estimate effectiveness of various numbers of doses as well as for each vaccine serotype. Possible bias with this design, caused by differential serotype replacement in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, was estimated after deriving formulae to quantify the bias. The results showed good effectiveness, increasing from 56% (95% confidence interval (CI): -7-82) for a single dose given under one year of age to 93% (95% CI: 70-98) for two doses under one year of age plus a booster dose in the second year of life. Serotype specific estimates indicated higher effectiveness against serotypes 4, 14 and 18C and lower effectiveness against 6B. Under the assumption of complete serotype replacement by non vaccine serotypes in carriage, we estimated that effectiveness estimates may be overestimated by about 2 to 5%. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows high effectiveness of PCV-7 under the reduced schedule used in the UK. This finding agrees with the large reductions seen in vaccine type IPD in recent years in England and Wales. The formulae derived to assess the bias of the indirect cohort method for PCV-7 can also be used when using the design for other vaccines that affect carriage such as the recently introduced 13 valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

    Targeted DNA enrichment and whole genome sequencing of Neisseria meningitidis directly from clinical specimens.

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    In England and Wales, approximately one half of all laboratory-confirmed meningococcal disease cases fail to yield a viable invasive isolate, primarily due to the use of antibiotics. Characterisation of non-culture meningococci has been restricted to the detection or sequencing of specific gene targets within clinical specimens. In this study we investigated the ability of the Agilent SureSelectXT kit to facilitate DNA enrichment and genome sequencing of meningococcal DNA within a small panel of blood and CSF specimens. A target-specific RNA oligonucleotide bait library was used to capture and enrich the bacterial DNA prior to next generation sequencing. A positive correlation between meningococcal DNA amount and genome coverage was observed with eight of the ten specimens producing genomes of acceptable quality. All commonly-used typing information derived from each acceptable non-culture genome matched those of an isolate from the same patient and the paired genomes showed a high level of congruence across indexed loci. We estimate that this technique could be used to perform whole genome sequencing on up to ∼45% of the positive specimens received by the Public Health England's Meningococcal Reference Unit. Further optimisation of the extraction and/or enrichment processes may, however, increase the proportion of non-culture cases from which quality genomes can be obtained

    Emergency Meningococcal ACWY Vaccination Program for Teenagers to Control Group W Meningococcal Disease, England, 2015–2016

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    During the first 12 months of an emergency meningococcal ACWY vaccination program for teenagers in England, coverage among persons who left school in 2015, the first cohort to be vaccinated, was 36.6%. There were 69% fewer group W meningococcal cases than predicted by trend analysis and no cases in vaccinated teenagers

    Neisseria gonorrhoeae lipooligosaccharide glycan epitopes recognized by bactericidal IgG antibodies elicited by the meningococcal group B-directed vaccine, MenB-4C

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    IntroductionOuter membrane vesicles (OMVs) of Neisseria meningitidis in the group B-directed vaccine MenB-4C (BexseroR) protect against infections with Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The immunological basis for protection remains unclear. N. meningitidis OMV vaccines generate human antibodies to N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae lipooligosaccharide (LOS/endotoxin), but the structural specificity of these LOS antibodies is not defined.MethodsTen paired human sera obtained pre- and post-MenB-4C immunization were used in Western blots to probe N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae LOS. Post-MenB-4C sera (7v5, 19v5, and 17v5), representing individual human variability in LOS recognition, were then used to interrogate structurally defined LOSs of N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae strains and mutants and studied in bactericidal assays.Results and discussionPost-MenB-4C sera recognized both N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae LOS species, ~10% of total IgG to gonococcal OMV antigens. N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae LOSs were broadly recognized by post-IgG antibodies, but with individual variability for LOS structures. Deep truncation of LOS, specifically a rfaK mutant without α-, β-, or γ-chain glycosylation, eliminated LOS recognition by all post-vaccine sera. Serum 7v5 IgG antibodies recognized the unsialyated L1 α-chain, and a 3-PEA-HepII or 6-PEA-HepII was part of the conformational epitope. Replacing the 3-PEA on HepII with a 3-Glc blocked 7v5 IgG antibody recognition of N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae LOSs. Serum 19v5 recognized lactoneotetrose (LNT) or L1 LOS-expressing N. meningitidis or N. gonorrhoeae with a minimal α-chain structure of Gal-Glc-HepI (L8), a 3-PEA-HepII or 6-PEA-HepII was again part of the conformational epitope and a 3-Glc-HepII blocked 19v5 antibody binding. Serum 17v5 LOS antibodies recognized LNT or L1 α-chains with a minimal HepI structure of three sugars and no requirement for HepII modifications. These LOS antibodies contributed to the serum bactericidal activity against N. gonorrhoeae. The MenB-4C vaccination elicits bactericidal IgG antibodies to N. gonorrhoeae conformational epitopes involving HepI and HepII glycosylated LOS structures shared between N. meningitidis and N. gonorrhoeae. LOS structures should be considered in next-generation gonococcal vaccine design

    Bactericidal antibody against a representative epidemiological meningococcal serogroup B panel confirms that MATS underestimates 4CMenB vaccine strain coverage

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    AbstractBackground4CMenB (Bexsero), a vaccine developed against invasive meningococcal disease caused by capsular group B strains (MenB), was recently licensed for use by the European Medicines Agency. Assessment of 4CMenB strain coverage in specific epidemiologic settings is of primary importance to predict vaccination impact on the burden of disease. The Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (MATS) was developed to predict 4CMenB strain coverage, using serum bactericidal antibody assay with human complement (hSBA) data from a diverse panel of strains not representative of any specific epidemiology.ObjectiveTo experimentally validate the accuracy of MATS-based predictions against strains representative of a specific epidemiologic setting.Methods and resultsWe used a stratified sampling method to identify a representative sample from all MenB disease isolates collected from England and Wales in 2007–2008, tested the strains in the hSBA assay with pooled sera from infant and adolescent vaccinees, and compared these results with MATS. MATS predictions and hSBA results were significantly associated (P=0.022). MATS predicted coverage of 70% (95% CI, 55–85%) was largely confirmed by 88% killing in the hSBA (95% CI, 72–95%). MATS had 78% accuracy and 96% positive predictive value against hSBA.ConclusionMATS is a conservative predictor of strain coverage by the 4CMenB vaccine in infants and adolescents

    Neisseria meningitidis nasopharyngeal carriage during the Hajj: A cohort study evaluating the need for ciprofloxacin prophylaxis

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    Background The annual Muslim pilgrimage has the potential of increase risk for acquisition of Neisseria meningitidis. Here, we evaluate the Hajj impact on the prevalence of N. meningitidis carriage in a paired and non-paired cohort of pilgrims. Secondary objectives were to calculate the compliance with recommended vaccination. Methods This is a prospective paired (arriving and departing), non-paired arriving and non-paired departing cohort study with the collection of nasopharyngeal samples at the start and the end of the Hajj. Results The study included unpaired arriving pilgrims at King Abdul Aziz International Airport (N = 1055), unpaired departing cohort (N = 373), and a paired cohort (N = 628) who were tested on arrival and departure. Meningococcal vaccination was received by all pilgrims, 98.2% received quadrivalent polysaccharide vaccine (ACWY), and 1.8% received meningococcal quadrivalent conjugate vaccine (MCV4). Only 1.61% and 23.03% received pneumococcal and influenza vaccines, respectively. Of the 1055 arriving unpaired pilgrim, 36 (3.4%) tested positive for nasopharyngeal carriage of N. meningitidis, and 24 (66.7%) of these were serogroup B, the remainder were non-groupable. Haemophilus influenza was detected among 45 (4.3%), and 11 (1%) carriers were positive for both N. meningitidis and H. influenzae. Out of 373 in the unpaired departing cohort, 6 (1.61%) tested positive for N. meningitidis, and 34 (9.1%) were positive for H. influenzae. Of the 628 paired cohort pilgrims, 36 (5.7%) pilgrims were positive for N. meningitidis at arrival and 16 (2.5%) pilgrims were positive after the hajj. Conclusion This the largest study of the epidemiology of N. meningitidis among pilgrims. The study showed a significant difference in the carriage between pilgrims from high endemicity and other pilgrims with a predominance of serogroup B. The continued use of ciprofloxacin as prophylactic antibiotics should be reconsidered as well as the consideration to add serogroup B as a required vaccination
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