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    Neisseria meningitidis is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis associated with a high mortality rate. Capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) are a major virulence factor and form the basis for serogroup designation and protective vaccines. The current polysaccharide meningococcal vaccines are available but are very expensive and require chemical conjugation. Here, we report a novel meningococcal vaccine formulation consisting of meningococcal CPS polymers encapsulated in albumin-based biodegradable microparticles that slowly release antigen and induce robust innate immune responses. Vaccines that elicit innate immunity are reported to have enhanced and protective adaptive immune responses. In this study, the meningococcal CPS-loaded microparticles, but not the empty microparticles, induced the release of IL-8, TNF-α and IL-1β, enhanced phagocytic capacity and induced robust autophagy in macrophages. The novel meningococcal vaccine microparticles are robustly taken up by macrophages and elicit strong innate immune responses that enhance antigen presentation which is a prerequisite for inducing adaptive immunity.


    Ruhi V Ubale, Martin J D'Souza, Daniel T Infield, Nael A McCarty, Susu M Zughaier. Formulation of meningococcal capsular polysaccharide vaccine-loaded microparticles with robust innate immune recognition. Journal of microencapsulation. 2013;30(1):28-41

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    PMID: 22657751

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