Background: In several countries large-scale immunization of children and young adults with Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) conjugate vaccines has induced long-standing herd protection. Salivary antibodies may play an important role in mucosal protection against meningococcal acquisition and carriage. Aim: To investigate antibody levels in (pre)adolescents primed 9 years earlier with a single dose of MenC-polysaccharide tetanus toxoid conjugated (MenC-TT) vaccine and the response to a booster vaccination, with special focus on age-related differences and the relation between salivary and serum antibody levels. Methods: Nine years after priming, healthy 10- (n = 91), 12- (n = 91) and 15-year-olds (n = 86) received a MenC-TT booster vaccination. Saliva and serum samples were collected prior to and 1 month and 1 year after vaccination. MenC-polysaccharide(MenC-PS)-specific antibody levels were measured using a fluorescent-bead-based multiplex immunoassay. Results: Before the booster, MenC-PS-specific IgG and IgA levels in saliva and serum were low and correlated with age at priming. The booster induced a marked increase in salivary MenC-PS-specific IgG (>200-fold), but also in IgA (~10-fold). One year after the booster, salivary IgG and IgA had remained above pre-booster levels in all age groups (~20-fold and ~3-fold, respectively), with persistence of highest levels in the 15-year-olds. MenC-PS-specific IgG and IgA levels in saliva strongly correlated with the levels in serum. Conclusion: Parenteral MenC-TT booster vaccination induces a clear increase in salivary MenC-PS-specific IgG and IgA levels and persistence of highest levels correlates with age. The strong correlation between serum and salivary antibody levels indicate that saliva may offer an easy and reliable tool for future antibody surveillance.
- Adolescent booster
- Meningococcal serogroup C conjugate vaccine
- Salivary antibodies
- Surveillance tool