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Meningococcal A, C, Y and W-135 polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines
  1. David Pace,
  2. Andrew J Pollard
  1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. David Pace, Oxford Vaccine Group, Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LJ, UK; dpace{at}


Serogroup C meningococcal conjugate vaccines, first launched in the UK in 1999, have been used successfully in Australia, Canada and several other European countries. Combination conjugate vaccines, containing more than one meningococcal polysaccharide, have been developed to broaden protection against the disease. A tetravalent meningococcal A, C, Y and W-135 conjugate vaccine was licensed for use in 11–55 year old adolescents and adults in the US in January 2005, and subsequently also in 2–11 year old children in Canada in May 2006. This article discusses the different glycoconjugate meningococcal vaccines which have been developed and the potential for their use to control disease caused by serogroups A, C, Y and W-135 of Neisseria meningitidis.

  • conjugate meningococcal vaccines
  • tetravalent meningococcal vaccines
  • meningococcal meningitis
  • Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y, W-135
  • vaccine immunology

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  • Competing interests: DP has received travel grants from GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines to attend scientific meetings. AJP acts as chief investigator for clinical trials conducted on behalf of Oxford University and sponsored by vaccine manufacturers (Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Novartis Vaccines, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Sanofi Pasteur and Wyeth Vaccines), and has directed trials of MenACYW vaccines, manufactured by Novartis Vaccines, and a Hib-MenC vaccine, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines. He has received assistance from vaccine manufacturers to attend scientific meetings. Industry-sourced consultancies and honoraria for lecturing or writing are paid directly to an independent charity or a fund held by the Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford. He is an inventor on patents in the area of MenB vaccines.

  • Search strategy: Data for this review were identified by searching PubMed and Medline databases up to and including October 2006. Only English language papers were reviewed. The following were the search terms used: “conjugate”, “meningococcal vaccine”, “serogroup A”, “serogroup C”, “serogroup Y”, “serogroup W-135”, “bivalent”, “quadrivalent” and “tetravalent”. Other sources were references identified in retrieved articles and online publications by health authorities of different countries.

  • Author’s contribution statement: DP performed the search and prepared the draft for this review which was subsequently revised by AJP.

  • Abbreviations:
    Guillain-Barré syndrome
    geometric mean antibody titre
    Haemophilus influenzae type b
    serum bactericidal antibody assay using human complement
    Neisseria meningitidis serogroup A/B/C/Y/W-135
    serum bactericidal antibody assay using rabbit complement
    serum bactericidal assay