Bethell D., Pollard AJ.
The successful introduction of a protein-polysaccharide conjugate vaccine against serogroup C meningococci into the UK infant immunization schedule, in combination with a catch-up campaign for individuals less than 18 years of age, has seen virtually all group C disease eliminated in childhood. From being a devastating disease with a very high mortality, the possibility of eradicating invasive meningococcal disease now seems eminently feasible. Since similar technology is likely to facilitate prevention of disease caused be serogroup A, Y and W135 meningococci, the major hurdle in achieving the goal of eradication is development of a safe and immunogenic vaccine against serogroup B infections. Outer membrane vesicle vaccines remain in development and further trials are anticipated. Through the recent availability of the meningococcal genome sequence, many new vaccine candidates are being identified and there is increasing optimism that a solution to the problem can be found.