The Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Bexsero Elicits Antibodies to Neisseria gonorrhoeae
AuthorSemchenko, EA; Tan, A; Borrow, R; Seib, KL
Source TitleClinical Infectious Diseases
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS INC
University of Melbourne Author/sTan, Aimee
AffiliationMicrobiology and Immunology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsSemchenko, E. A., Tan, A., Borrow, R. & Seib, K. L. (2019). The Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccine Bexsero Elicits Antibodies to Neisseria gonorrhoeae. CLINICAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES, 69 (7), pp.1101-1111. https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/ciy1061.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are closely-related bacteria that cause a significant global burden of disease. Control of gonorrhoea is becoming increasingly difficult, due to widespread antibiotic resistance. While vaccines are routinely used for N. meningitidis, no vaccine is available for N. gonorrhoeae. Recently, the outer membrane vesicle (OMV) meningococcal B vaccine, MeNZB, was reported to be associated with reduced rates of gonorrhoea following a mass vaccination campaign in New Zealand. To probe the basis for this protection, we assessed the cross-reactivity to N. gonorrhoeae of serum raised to the meningococcal vaccine Bexsero, which contains the MeNZB OMV component plus 3 recombinant antigens (Neisseria adhesin A, factor H binding protein [fHbp]-GNA2091, and Neisserial heparin binding antigen [NHBA]-GNA1030). METHODS: A bioinformatic analysis was performed to assess the similarity of MeNZB OMV and Bexsero antigens to gonococcal proteins. Rabbits were immunized with the OMV component or the 3 recombinant antigens of Bexsero, and Western blots and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were used to assess the generation of antibodies recognizing N. gonorrhoeae. Serum from humans immunized with Bexsero was investigated to assess the nature of the anti-gonococcal response. RESULTS: There is a high level of sequence identity between MeNZB OMV and Bexsero OMV antigens, and between the antigens and gonococcal proteins. NHBA is the only Bexsero recombinant antigen that is conserved and surfaced exposed in N. gonorrhoeae. Bexsero induces antibodies in humans that recognize gonococcal proteins. CONCLUSIONS: The anti-gonococcal antibodies induced by MeNZB-like OMV proteins could explain the previously-seen decrease in gonorrhoea following MeNZB vaccination. The high level of human anti-gonococcal NHBA antibodies generated by Bexsero vaccination may provide additional cross-protection against gonorrhoea.
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