New Strategy to Select Cross-Reactivity Meningococci Strains: Immunization with outer Membrane Vesicles of Serogroup C and Cationic lipid as Adjuvant
Author(s): Amanda Izeli Portilho, Gabriela Trzewikowski de Lima, Elizabeth De Gaspari
Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), caused by Neisseria meningitidis, is a public health problem, associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality, capable of causing outbreaks or epidemics, but preventable through vaccination. In Brazil, the main serogroups isolated are C and B. The last epidemic occurred in the 80s, in Sao Paulo, because of a B:4:P1.15 strain. Adult Swiss mice were immunized with outer membrane vesicles (OMV) of N. meningitidis strain C:4:P1.15, adjuvanted by the cationic lipid dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide in bilayer fragments (DDA-BF), administered via prime-booster (intranasal/subcutaneous) scheme. The humoral response was accessed by Immunoblotting and ELISA, using homologous immunization strain and a different serogroup but equal serosubtype strain, N. meningitidis B:4:P1.15. Immunoblotting revealed the recognition of antigens associated with the molecular weight of Porin A and Opacity proteins, which are immunogenic but highly heterogeneous, and Tbp and NspA, which are more homogeneous between meningococci strains. ELISA results showed antibody production that persisted after 190 days and recognized the C:4:P1.15 and the B:4:P1.15 strains, with high avidity index. The adjuvanted group recognized antigens following the IN prime and had a higher avidity index against the heterologous strain. DDA-BF improved the humoral response, but the OMV alone induced high avidity index antibodies as well. Even though these are preliminary results, we see it as a promising approach for affordable meningococcal immunization in developing countries, at outbreak or epidemic situations.