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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 353461, 9 pages
Review Article

Meningococcal Antigen Typing System Development and Application to the Evaluation of Effectiveness of Meningococcal B Vaccine and Possible Use for Other Purposes

1Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Via Pastore 1, 16132 Genoa, Italy
2Novartis Vaccines, Via Fiorentina 1, 53100 Siena, Italy

Received 24 November 2014; Revised 16 January 2015; Accepted 17 February 2015

Academic Editor: Saul N. Faust

Copyright © 2015 Alexander Domnich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Development of the 4-component meningococcal serogroup B vaccine (4CMenB) has required new assays for the reliable evaluation of the expression and cross-reactivity of those specific antigen variants that are predicted to be targeted by bactericidal antibodies elicited by the vaccine in different isolates. Existing laboratory techniques, such as multilocus sequence typing, are poorly suited to this purpose, since they do not provide information on the contribution of single vaccine components and therefore cannot be applied to estimate the potential coverage of the multicomponent vaccine. The hSBA, the only correlate of protection against invasive meningococcal disease accepted thus far, cannot conveniently be used to test large number of strains. To overcome these issues, the meningococcal antigen typing system (MATS) has been specifically developed in order to predict 4CMenB coverage of individual meningococcus serogroup B strains. To date, MATS has proved advantageous for several reasons, including its ability to assess both qualitative and quantitative aspects of surface antigens of single strains in a highly reproducible, rapid, and resource-saving manner, while its shortcomings include a possible underestimation of 4CMenB coverage and the use of pooled sera to calculate the positive bactericidal threshold. This paper provides an overview of MATS development and its field application.