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In the present study, the limiting dilution assay (LDA) and the ELISpot are compared in their ability to detect serogroup C meningococcal (MenC)-specific memory B-cells in peripheral blood of 12month old children, after 3-dose priming with serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenCV) in infancy. At 12 months of age, MenC-memory B-cells were detected by ELISpot in 61% of children and in 5% by LDA. In contrast, carrier-specific memory B-cells were measurable in 36% of children by LDA and 78% by ELISpot. One month after a booster dose of MenCV given at 12 months of age, MenC-specific memory B-cells were detected in 89% of children by ELISpot and 65% of children by LDA, while diphtheria toxoid-specific memory B-cells were detected in 88% of children by ELISpot and in 74% of children by LDA. Two statistical methods were applied to enumerate memory B-cells with the LDA assay; the Poisson method allowed determination of very low frequencies that could not be determined by the Reed and Muench method. These data are examples of alternative methods to assess long-term protection after protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines, through direct measurement of memory B-cells in peripheral blood shortly after immunisation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol Methods

Publication Date





46 - 55


B-Lymphocyte Subsets, Cell Separation, Diphtheria Toxoid, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Humans, Immunoassay, Immunoglobulin G, Immunologic Memory, Infant, Lymphocyte Count, Meningococcal Vaccines, Polysaccharides, Bacterial, Vaccination