Reduced antibody response to revaccination with meningococcal serogroup A polysaccharide vaccine in adults

Ray Borrow*, Helen Joseph, Nick Andrews, Marisa Acuna, Emma Longworth, Sarah Martin, Nicholas Peake, Rukhsana Rahim, Peter Richmond, Edward Kaczmarski, Elizabeth Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Widespread use of meningococcal A and C polysaccharide (MACP) vaccines has raised concerns about induction of hyporesponsiveness to these polysaccharides. Immunological hyporesponsiveness to C polysaccharide has been clearly documented in infants, children and adults but only limited data from Gambian children are available for A polysaccharide. We investigated whether a second dose of MACP, given 6 months after an initial dose affected the immunological response as measured by the serum bactericidal assay (SBA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), to serogroup A meningococci in young adults (university students, n = 36). Serogroup A SBA responses 1 month following the second dose of MACP (geometric mean titre (GMT) 103.6, 95% CI 45.6-235.1) were approximately one third of the levels observed 1 month post first dose (GMT 281.9, 95% CI 134.9-581.4). The serogroup A-specific IgG levels post second dose (GMC 21.2, 95% CI 15.3-29.4) were also significantly lower at an average of three-quarters the level post first dose (GMC 28.7, 95% CI 20.8-39.7). This confirms that revaccination with MACP vaccine, 6 months following the initial dose, results in a reduced immunological response to A polysaccharide in adults. Repeated vaccination with MACP vaccine may be ineffective and development and use of meningococcal serogroup A conjugate vaccines should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1132
Number of pages4
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The laboratory work was supported by Aventis Pasteur. The field work for this study was supported by the UK Department of Health (Grant VCA7/9/3). The authors would like to thank Drs Rosemary McCann and Jenny Hill (Salford and Trafford Health Authority) for their assistance in facilitating the collection of clinical samples.


  • Hyporesponsiveness
  • Meningococcal serogroup A
  • Vaccine


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