Dissection of the protective response elicited by the DOMV component of the 4CMenB vaccine

Viviani, Viola (2021) Dissection of the protective response elicited by the DOMV component of the 4CMenB vaccine, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare e molecolare, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9779.
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Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B is the major etiological agent of meningitis and life-threatening sepsis, against which two vaccines are licensed. The 4CMenB vaccine is composed of three major protein antigens (fHbp, NHBA and NadA) and detergent-extracted outer membrane vesicles (DOMV) from the NZ98/254 strain. DOMV are safe, immunogenic and able to raise bactericidal antibodies, mainly attributed to the immunodominant PorA protein. Nevertheless, DOMV offer a complex reservoir of potentially immunogenic proteins, whose relative contribution in protection is still poorly characterized. By testing antisera from vaccinated infants in serum bactericidal assay, we observed that the addition of DOMV in the vaccine formulation enhanced breadth of coverage compared to recombinant proteins alone against a panel of 11 meningococcal strains mismatched for the vaccine antigens. To unravel the DOMV components involved in such protection, 30 DOMV antigens were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli as recombinant proteins and/or in vesicles to maintain their native conformation. Samples obtained were both included in tailor-made protein-microarrays to immunoprofile the antibody repertoire raised by DOMV-containing formulations and were individually used for mouse immunization studies to assess their ability to induce bactericidal antibodies. The protein-array immunosignature of mouse DOMV/4CMenB antisera unveiled a subset of 8 DOMV-reactive proteins potentially responsible for the additional protective responses. The antisera derived from mouse immunizations showed high levels of antibodies and recognized the corresponding antigen across different meningococcal strains. Among the protein-array reactive antigens, OpcA, NspA and PorB induced antibodies able to kill 10 of the 11 genetically diverse meningococcal strains and the specificity of the protective role of OpcA and PorB was also confirmed in 4CMenB infant vaccinee sera. In conclusion, we identified additional PorA-independent antigens within DOMV involved in broadening the coverage of 4CMenB, thus supporting the key role played by vesicles in this multivalent formulation.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Viviani, Viola
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Neisseria meningitidis, MenB, vaccine, 4CMenB, DOMV, antigen, protection
Data di discussione
10 Giugno 2021

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