Trial results suggest just one dose of new MenACWYX vaccine may protect toddlers from meningitis

14 Jun 2021
Trial results suggest just one dose of new MenACWYX vaccine may protect toddlers from meningitis
New research, published this week in the NEJM, suggests that the NmCV-5 pentavalent vaccine, designed to protect against five causes of meningococcal disease, could provide immunity in toddlers after a single dose. This Phase 2 trial, which involved Malian children aged 12-16 months, aimed to assess the safety and immunogenicity of NmCV-5 compared with Menactra. Menactra protects against four of the five types of meningitis covered by NmCV-5, and requires two doses in children aged 9-23 months.

Neisseria meningiditis is a bacterium which can cause outbreaks of deadly meningitis and septicaemia around the world. The most common causes of this particular type of meningitis are referred to as serogroups A, C, W, Y, B and X. Licensed vaccines exist to protect against meningitis caused by serogroup B (referred to as ‘Men B’), and three licensed conjugate vaccines protect against Men A, C, W and Y together (Menactra, Menveo, Nimenrix). Currently, no licensed vaccine provides protection against meningitis caused by Men X.

The NmCV-5 vaccine, developed by the Serum Institute of India in partnership with PATH, has been developed to protect against Men A, C, W, Y and X. Results from a new trial have found no safety concerns with the NmCV-5 vaccine in either its adjuvanted or non-adjuvanted formulations. Additionally, trial findings showed that a single dose of pentavalent vaccine elicited immune responses that were similar to, or higher than, those observed with the two-dose schedule of Menactra. It also elicited an immune response to MenX.

Outbreaks of deadly meningitis are most commonly found in the sub-Saharan African meningitis belt, which is where this study took place. As the authors of the study say:

"The single dose schedule of NmCV-5 is an important consideration in the sub-Saharan African meningitis belt, given considerations of cost and the issues involved in having people return for a second vaccine dose."

Phase 3 trials are now ongoing to target mass immunisation campaigns and vaccination in travellers to high risk regions.

Having an affordable multivalent (ACWXY) meningococcal conjugate vaccine available for routine immunisation is one of the aims of the new Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis. Find out more about the roadmap here.
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