Can Neisseria lactamica antigens provide an effective vaccine to prevent meningococcal disease?

Andrew Gorringe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Neisseria lactamica is a commensal organism that is closely related to Neisseria meningitidis, the causative agent of meningococcal disease. N. lactamica has many antigens in common with N. meningitidis, but it lacks a polysaccharide capsule and the serosubtyping antigen PorA. Carriage studies have demonstrated that N. lactamica is carried in the nasopharynx of young children at a time when meningococcal carnage is rare. However, natural immunity to meningococcal disease develops during this period and carriage of commensal Neisseria is implicated in the development of this immunity. Recent studies have characterized the antigens which may be responsible for inducing a crossreactive antibody response and have demonstrated that N. lactamica-based vaccines can protect in experimental models of meningococcal disease. The potential for these vaccines to be effective in preventing meningococcal disease is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was received from the Meningitis Trust and the UK Department of Health. The author thanks M Hudson for critical review of the manuscript, B Dowsett for the electron micrograph of N. lactamica OMVs, and the Meningococcal Vaccine Group at CEPR who are preparing for clinical trial of the N. lactamica OMV vaccine.


  • Lactamica
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Neisseria
  • Vaccine


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