05 August 2022

Patients who undergo haematopoietic stem cell transplantation can successfully be vaccinated against meningococcal B infection, French doctors have reported.

Haematologists at the Henri Mondor AP-HP Hospital, working with the invasive bacterial infections unit of the Institut Pasteur, vaccinated 40 patients who had undergone transplantation between six months and 13 years previously.

The trial assessed whether a new meningococcal B vaccine introduced in France last year could generate an immune response in these immunocompromised, highly vulnerable patients.

Reporting in Clinical Microbiology and Infection, they found that one month after vaccination, 90% of patients had antibody levels sufficient to provide protection. This fell to 62% after nine months.

The researchers said: “Meningococcal infection is responsible for severe, often fatal diseases such as meningitis. Patients who have undergone haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, for example to treat leukaemia, are 30 times more likely than the general population to develop these severe infections.”

“The trial supports the inclusion of vaccination against meningococcal group B, alongside vaccination against groups A, C, W and Y, in the vaccination schedule of these patients from 6 months after their transplant to improve their protection.”

There are several meningococcal groups and therefore several vaccines recommended for HSCT patients. Evaluation of another meningococcal B vaccine, Trumenba®, in HSCT recipients could be the next stage in research into protection against meningococcal infection.


Robin C, Redjoul R, Terrade A, Deghmane AE, Cabanne L, Cordonnier C, Taha MK. (2022) “Immunogenicity and safety of the meningococcal B recombinant (4CMenB) vaccine in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation recipients.” Clin Microbiol Infect, doi:10.1016/j.cmi.2022.06.024

Link: https://www.clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-743X(22)00338-X/fulltext   

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