An effective vaccine for serogroup B meningococci has yet to be developed and attention has turned to subcapsular antigens of the meningococcus as possible vaccine candidates. Iron binding proteins are being studied, with most interest focused on the transferrin binding proteins (TbpA and TbpB) and the ferric binding protein (FbpA). This study describes the purification of lactoferrin binding protein A (LbpA) from two meningococcal strains and assesses the human isotype-specific serum antibody response to these proteins in patients with proven meningococcal disease due to a range of phenotypes. Overall, fewer than 50% of sera contained IgG that recognised LbpA isolated from either strain and this antibody response was not uniform between the two proteins. There was some evidence that the antibody response varied between meningococcal phenotypes. This study demonstrates that LbpA does not induce a highly cross-reactive antibody response, indicating that it is unlikely to be an effective vaccine antigen. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr Tony Swan at the PHLS Statistics Unit, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Colindale for statistical support. The work at CAMR was supported by the UK Department of Health.
- Immune response
- Lactoferrin binding protein
- Meningococcal vaccine
- Neisseria meningitidis