The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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In Brief: Prevention of Meningococcal B Disease

An outbreak (8 cases to date) of meningococcal disease at Princeton University caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B has led the FDA and CDC to permit importation and investigational use (at Princeton University only) of a meningococcus B vaccine (4CMenB; Bexsero – Novartis) that has not been approved in the US. Bexsero has been approved for use in the European Union and in Australia.

THE VACCINE — Until recently, no serogroup B vaccine was widely available because the polysaccharide capsule of the B serogroup, unlike those of the other main meningococcal serogroups (A, C, Y, and W-135), is only weakly immunogenic. The 4CMenB vaccine contains 3 protein antigens identified in the N. meningitidis serogroup B genome and membrane components from a New Zealand outbreak strain. The vaccine has been tested in more than 8000 adults and children, has proved to be immunogenic, and appears ... more      

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