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Neisseria meningitidis is one of the leading infectious causes of death in children under five years old in industrialized countries, and most cases can be attributed to five disease-causing serogroups: A, B, C, Y and W135. Meningococcal vaccine development began in the 1930s with killed whole-cell and exotoxin vaccines, but widespread use of polysaccharide vaccines did not begin until the 1970s. Serogroup A, C, Y and W135 polysaccharides are all included in vaccines for travellers, other high risk groups and control of outbreaks, but have limited immunogenicity and effficacy in childhood. Protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccines overcome this problem and offer the possibility of protection in early childhoodfrom serogroup A, C, Y and W135. An effective serogroup B vaccine remains elusive and the greatest challengefor vaccine developers.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Opin Investig Drugs

Publication Date

07/2002

Volume

3

Pages

975 - 979

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Meningitis, Meningococcal, Meningococcal Vaccines, Neisseria meningitidis