Vaccines to prevent infection from pathogenic Neisseria bacteria.
- Engineered Neisseria mutants for the development of a vaccine based on the outer membrane protein.
- Absence of the lipooligosaccharide from the outer membrane eliminates toxicity.
Neisseriae bacteria represent a major human pathogen. These strains produce endotoxins harmful to humans that can result in bacterial meningitis, sepsis, bacteremia, and gonorrhea. Mortality of bacterial meningitis is ~85% if left untreated. The existing capsular polysaccharide vaccines against Neisseria infections are generally ineffective. An alternative vaccine development approach to polysaccharide vaccine is the use of outer membrane protein preparations. However, lipooliogosaccharide (LOS,) one of the key constituents of the outer membrane outerlayer, is an endotoxin that influences the invasive capacity of Neisseria stains. The morbidity and mortality meningococcal bacteria have been directly correlated with the amount or circulating LOS in an infected subject.
The present invention describes the development of novel mutant strains and vectors that may be used for more efficacious vaccination against Neisseria. These Neisseria strains have been engineered to lack the intact LOS structure. Therefore, these mutants can be used as a source of antigen for a vaccine based on the LOS bacterial surface component. They also provide a source of a novel immunological adjuvant that may be used for other pharmacological and cosmetic applications.
Developmental Stage & Potential Market
- Neisseria mutant strains that lack the LOS have been developed. Outerwall structure has been characterized using a variety of analytical techniques (mass spec., electron microscopy, etc.).
- Vaccination against meningococcal disease is recommended for all preadolescent children. (According to the 2000 U.S. census, approximately 20.5 million children are of the ages 10-14.).