Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (MATS)-Based Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B Coverage Prediction for the MenB-4C Vaccine in the United States
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Meningococcal Antigen Typing System (MATS)-Based Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup B Coverage Prediction for the MenB-4C Vaccine in the United States

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    Neisseria meningitidis is the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults worldwide. A 4-component vaccine against N. meningitidis serogroup B (MenB) disease (MenB-4C [Bexsero]; GSK) combining factor H binding protein (fHBP), neisserial heparin binding protein (NHBA), neisserial adhesin A (NadA), and PorA-containing outer membrane vesicles was recently approved for use in the United States and other countries worldwide. Because the public health impact of MenB-4C in the United States is unclear, we used the meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) to assess the strain coverage in a panel of strains representative of serogroup B (NmB) disease in the United States. MATS data correlate with killing in the human complement serum bactericidal assay (hSBA) and predict the susceptibility of NmB strains to killing in the hSBA, the accepted correlate of protection for MenB-4C vaccine. A panel of 442 NmB United States clinical isolates (collected in 2000 to 2008) whose data were down weighted with respect to the Oregon outbreak was selected from the Active Bacterial Core Surveillance (ABCs; CDC, Atlanta, GA) laboratory. MATS results examined to determine strain coverage were linked to multilocus sequence typing and antigen sequence data. MATS predicted that 91% (95% confidence interval [CI95], 72% to 96%) of the NmB strains causing disease in the United States would be covered by the MenB-4C vaccine, with the estimated coverage ranging from 88% to 97% by year with no detectable temporal trend. More than half of the covered strains could be targeted by two or more antigens. NHBA conferred coverage to 83% (CI95, 45% to 93%) of the strains, followed by factor H-binding protein (fHbp), which conferred coverage to 53% (CI95, 46% to 57%); PorA, which conferred coverage to 5.9%; and NadA, which conferred coverage to 2.5% (CI95, 1.1% to 5.2%). Two major clonal complexes (CC32 and CC41/44) had 99% strain coverage. The most frequent MATS phenotypes (39%) were fHbp and NHBA double positives. MATS predicts over 90% MenB-4C strain coverage in the United States, and the prediction is stable in time and consistent among bacterial genotypes. IMPORTANCE The meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based system that assesses the levels of expression and immune reactivity of the three recombinant MenB-4C antigens and, in conjunction with PorA variable 2 (VR2) sequencing, provides an estimate of the susceptibility of NmB isolates to killing by MenB-4C-induced antibodies. MATS assays or similar antigen phenotype analyses assume importance under conditions in which analyses of vaccine coverage predictions are not feasible with existing strategies, including large efficacy trials or functional antibody screening of an exhaustive strain panel. MATS screening of a panel of NmB U.S. isolates (n = 442) predicts high MenB-4C vaccine coverage in the United States.
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