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Prevention and control of meningococcal outbreaks: The emerging role of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines

Oviedo-Orta, Ernesto, Ahmed, Sohail, Rappuoli, Rino, Black, Steven
Vaccine 2015 v.33 no.31 pp. 3628-3635
morbidity, mortality, risk, serotypes, vaccines, Cuba, New Zealand, Norway, United States
Recently an investigational meningococcal B vaccine has been used in two college outbreaks in the US. This is the first time that a meningococcal B vaccine has been used for outbreak control in the US. However, strain specific vaccines for meningococcal B outbreaks have been developed in Norway, Cuba and to control a large prolonged outbreak in New Zealand. Although meningococcal disease is mostly endemic and baseline rates in the US have fallen over the past decade, outbreaks are not uncommon in the US and globally. In an outbreak, disease risk can rise 1000 fold or more and such outbreaks can last a decade or longer causing significant morbidity and mortality. Here we review the evolution of several serogroup B outbreaks, and, when applicable, the development and impact of meningococcal B vaccines to control these outbreaks. Prior to the availability of “broad spectrum” meningococcal B vaccines, vaccines developed to control meningococcal B outbreaks were strain specific. With the development of two newly licensed meningococcal B vaccines – a four component meningococcal B vaccine (Bexsero®, Novartis) and the two component fHBP vaccine (Trumenba®, Pfizer) that target a broad array of meningococcal B strains, there is now the potential to prevent outbreaks and as well as to shorten the delay between identification of an outbreak and availability of a vaccine.