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A Vaccine Against Group B Streptococcus: Recent Advances

Authors Carreras-Abad C, Ramkhelawon L, Heath PT, Le Doare K

Received 10 October 2019

Accepted for publication 10 March 2020

Published 29 April 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1263—1272


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sahil Khanna

Clara Carreras-Abad,1,2 Laxmee Ramkhelawon,1 Paul T Heath,1 Kirsty Le Doare1,3,4

1Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group and Vaccine Institute, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George’s, University of London, London, UK; 2Department of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 3Pathogen Immunity Group, Public Health England, Porton Down,UK; 4Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Uganda Research Unit, Entebbe, Uganda

Correspondence: Clara Carreras-Abad
Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, Institute for Infection and Immunity, St George’s, University of London, Jenner Wing, Level 2 Mailpoint J2C, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK

Abstract: Group B streptococcus (GBS) causes a high burden of neonatal and infant disease globally. Implementing a vaccine for pregnant women is a promising strategy to prevent neonatal and infant GBS disease and has been identified as a priority by the World Health Organisation (WHO). GBS serotype-specific polysaccharide – protein conjugate vaccines are at advanced stages of development, but a large number of participants would be required to undertake Phase III clinical efficacy trials. Efforts are therefore currently focused on establishing serocorrelates of protection in natural immunity studies as an alternative pathway for licensure of a GBS vaccine, followed by Phase IV studies to evaluate safety and effectiveness. Protein vaccines are in earlier stages of development but are highly promising as they might confer protection irrespective of serotype. Further epidemiological, immunological and health economic studies are required to enable the vaccine to reach its target population as soon as possible.

Keywords: Group B streptococcus, Streptococcus agalactiae, maternal vaccines, maternal immunisation, neonatal sepsis, infant sepsis

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