Temporal changes in BEXSERO® antigen sequence type associated with genetic lineages of Neisseria meningitidis over a 15-year period in Western Australia

Shakeel Mowlaboccus, Tim Perkins, H. Smith, T. Sloots, S. Tozer, Lydia Prempeh, Alfred Chin Yen Tay, Fanny Peters, D. Speers, A.D. Keil, Charlene Kahler

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© 2016 Mowlaboccus et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Neisseria meningitidis is the causative agent of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). The BEXSERO® vaccine which is used to prevent serogroup B disease is composed of four sub-capsular protein antigens supplemented with an outer membrane vesicle. Since the sub-capsular protein antigens are variably expressed and antigenically variable amongst meningococcal isolates, vaccine coverage can be estimated by the meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) which measures the propensity of the strain to be killed by vaccinated sera. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) which identifies the alleles of the antigens that may be recognised by the antibody response could represent, in future, an alternative estimate of coverage. In this study, WGS of 278 meningococcal isolates responsible for 62% of IMD in Western Australia from 2000-2014 were analysed for association of genetic lineage (sequence type [ST], clonal complex [cc]) with BEXSERO® antigen sequence type (BAST) and MATS to predict the annual vaccine coverage. A hyperendemic period of IMD between 2000-05 was caused by cc41/44 with the major sequence type of ST-146 which was not predicted by MATS or BAST to be covered by the vaccine. An increase in serogroup diversity was observed between 2010-14 with the emergence of cc11 serogroup W in the adolescent population and cc23 serogroup Y in the elderly. BASTs were statistically associated with clonal complex although individual antigens underwent antigenic drift from the major type. BAST and MATS predicted an annual range of 44-91% vaccine coverage. Periods of low vaccine coverage in years post-2005 were not a result of the resurgence of cc41/44:ST-146 but were characterised by increased diversity of clonal complexes expressing BASTs which were not predicted by MATS to be c
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0158315
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016


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