Comparison of CRM197, diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid as protein carriers for meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccines.

Research paper by M M Tontini, F F Berti, M R MR Romano, D D Proietti, C C Zambonelli, M J MJ Bottomley, E E De Gregorio, G G Del Giudice, R R Rappuoli, P P Costantino, , G G Brogioni, C C Balocchi, M M Biancucci, E E Malito

Indexed on: 24 Aug '13Published on: 24 Aug '13Published in: Vaccine


Glycoconjugate vaccines are among the most effective and safest vaccines ever developed. Diphtheria toxoid (DT), tetanus toxoid (TT) and CRM197 have been mostly used as protein carriers in licensed vaccines. We evaluated the immunogenicity of serogroup A, C, W-135 and Y meningococcal oligosaccharides conjugated to CRM197, DT and TT in naïve mice. The three carriers were equally efficient in inducing an immune response against the carbohydrate moiety in immunologically naïve mice. The effect of previous exposure to different dosages of the carrier protein on the anti-carbohydrate response was studied using serogroup A meningococcal (MenA) saccharide conjugates as a model. CRM197 showed a strong propensity to positively prime the anti-carbohydrate response elicited by its conjugates or those with the antigenically related carrier DT. Conversely in any of the tested conditions TT priming did not result in enhancement of the anti-carbohydrate response elicited by the corresponding conjugates. Repeated exposure of mice to TT or to CRM197 before immunization with the respective MenA conjugates resulted in a drastic suppression of the anti-carbohydrate response in the case of TT conjugate and only in a slight reduction in the case of CRM197. The effect of carrier priming on the anti-MenA response of DT-based conjugates varied depending on their carbohydrate to protein ratio. These data may have implications for human vaccination since conjugate vaccines are widely used in individuals previously immunized with DT and TT carrier proteins.