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Development of an Intrinsic Killing Assay for Identifying Susceptible Individuals to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B strains

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • AM Hollander


Neisseria meningitidis is a major cause of bacterial meningitis and remains a major public health problem. Vaccines are available against all N. meningitidis serogroups except serogroup B (MenB) strains in the U.S. To identify susceptible populations, serum bactericidal assays will be utilized to investigate sero-responses based on the original Goldschneider et. al studies, where bactericidal antibodies were measured in human complement. Individuals whose sera lacked bactericidal killing were at risk for developing disease. We developed and explored the feasibility of a micro titer plate-based intrinsic killing assay to screen healthy adult blood donor sera for bactericidal activity against a collection of MenB isolates. In a pilot study of 24 sera and 5 MenB strains, we tested intrinsic killing and observed seventeen sera (71%) showed intrinsic killing against all strains. 3 sera were unable to kill one or more strains and 4 sera had <50% killing. Thus the majority of this population is broadly protected but has individuals at risk of disease. We are currently applying this assay to screen a subset of over 400 active sera from healthy adult blood donors against diverse and epidemiologically relevant MenB strains. This assay will be useful for identifying individuals susceptible to MenB strains

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