Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32561121
Link to DOI – S0264-410X(20)30726-X10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.05.071
Vaccine 2020 Jul; 38(33): 5324-5331
Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), caused by Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) strains, is a life-threatening but vaccine-preventable condition. Bexsero is a four-component vaccine that offers broad protection against Nm of serogroup B (NmB), particularly common in Europe. In Switzerland, Bexsero has not yet been licensed and no information is available concerning the predicted vaccine coverage on isolates of circulating Nm. We performed genotyping of Bexsero antigen loci by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on 104 NmB collected in Switzerland in the 2010-2015 period. We searched for antigen variants previously defined as predictors of strain coverage and estimated that 50% of IMD NmB strains were potentially covered by the vaccine. Clonal complexes (cc) 32, 41/44 and 269, considered the best covered lineages, were further sub-typed according to Bexsero Antigen Sequence Type (BAST) scheme. We also genotyped by WGS 40 Nm of serogroup W (NmW) collected in the country between 2010 and 2016. NmW cc22 isolates appeared to be covered by the vaccine, which was not the case for cc11 isolates, whose incidence has recently increased in Switzerland and all over Europe. Our work underlines the benefit of using WGS for surveillance of vaccine antigen variant distribution in local Nm population and taking proper measures to prevent the spread of NmB.