Development of vaccines against Neisseria meningitidis.
- Genes involved in the adhesion and invasion of N. meningitidis serogroup B for vaccine applications.
- Provides a potential antigen for the development of a vaccine against serogroup B, which is currently not available in the U.S.
N. meningitidis is the causative agent of epidemic meningitis and fatal septic shock. There are 5 main strains of N. meningitidis (A, B, C, Y, W-135). Current vaccine formulations, which cover 4 of the 5 most prevalent serogroups consist of the capsular polysaccharide of the particular strain as the principal immune response-inducing antigen. The serogroup B capsular polysaccharide does not induce protection in humans, though this strain is prevalent in the US, Europe and Australia. Accordingly, research has focused on identifying alternative and active serotype B antigens in order to develop a vaccine that also induces more comprehensive immunity against N. meningitidis
This technology consists of nucleic acid sequences and expression vectors of certain genes identified to be involved in adhesion and invasion of the serogroup B strain of N. Meningitidis. Gene cloning and identification of functionality in adhesion and invasion has been completed. The proteins expressed from these genes may be useful as antigens in the development of future vaccines against N. Meningitidis.
Developmental Stage & Potential Market
- Cloning and initial characterization of genes from Neisseria meningitidis serotype B that function in adhesion and invasion is completed.
- Invasive meningococcal disease affects approximately 1 in 100,000 people annually in the U.S.
- Current American Association of Pediatrics guidelines call for vaccination of all 11-18 year olds against N. meningitidis.