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Measuring immunity to meningococcal Y and W135 bacteria in England and Wales

  • Researchers:
    Dr Caroline Trotter, Dr Helen Findlow, Prof Ray Borrow
  • Start Date:
    01 November 2012
  • Category:
  • Location:
    PHLS Meningococcal Reference Unit, Manchester, UK
Measuring immunity to meningococcal Y and W135 bacteria in England and Wales

The United Kingdom was the first country to introduce meningococcal group C conjugate (MCC) vaccines, in 1999, incorporating these into the childhood immunisation schedule and implementing an extensive catch-up.

Since then the incidence of group C disease has declined dramatically as a result of high short-term vaccine effectiveness and a reduction in serogroup C carriage leading to herd immunity. Meningococcal quadrivalent (ACYW) conjugate vaccines are expected to be licensed soon in Europe.

Serological surveillance has been utilised in the United Kingdom to inform vaccine policy for several diseases, including group C, and it would be useful to establish a baseline for immunity for groups Y and W135. By using age stratified sera from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) Seroepidemiology Unit we will measure complement-mediated serum bactericidal antibodies for groups Y and W135. Immunogenicity data will be analysed and interpreted using mathematical models to investigate the relationship between seroprevalence, carriage and disease by age.

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