BACKGROUND Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, B, C, W, X, and Y cause outbreaks of meningococcal disease. Quadrivalent conjugate vaccines targeting the A, C, W, and Y serogroups are available. A pentavalent vaccine that also includes serogroup X (NmCV-5) is under development. METHODS We conducted a phase 2, observer-blinded, randomized, controlled trial involving Malian children 12 to 16 months of age. Participants were assigned in a 2:2:1 ratio to receive nonadjuvanted NmCV-5, alum-adjuvanted NmCV-5, or the quadrivalent vaccine MenACWY-D, administered intramuscularly in two doses 12 weeks apart. Participants were followed for safety for 169 days. Immunogenicity was assessed with an assay for serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) with rabbit complement on days 0, 28, 84, and 112. RESULTS A total of 376 participants underwent randomization, with 150 assigned to each NmCV-5 group and 76 to the MenACWY-D group; 362 participants received both doses of vaccine. A total of 1% of the participants in the nonadjuvanted NmCV-5 group, 1% of those in the adjuvanted NmCV-5 group, and 4% of those in the MenACWY-D group reported local solicited adverse events; 6%, 5%, and 7% of the participants, respectively, reported systemic solicited adverse events. An SBA titer of at least 128 was seen in 91 to 100% (for all five serotypes) of the participants in the NmCV-5 groups and in 36 to 99% (excluding serogroup X) of those in the MenACWY-D group at day 84 (before the second dose); the same threshold was met in 99 to 100% (for all five serotypes) of the participants in the NmCV-5 groups and in 92 to 100% (excluding serogroup X) of those in the MenACWY-D group at day 112. Immune responses to the nonadjuvanted and adjuvanted NmCV-5 formulations were similar. CONCLUSIONS No safety concerns were identified with two doses of NmCV-5. A single dose of NmCV-5 elicited immune responses that were similar to those observed with two doses of MenACWY-D. Adjuvanted NmCV-5 provided no discernible benefit over nonadjuvanted NmCV-5.
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