Effectiveness of Meningococcal Vaccines at Reducing Invasive Meningococcal Disease and Pharyngeal Neisseria meningitidis Carriage: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Mark McMillan, Abira Chandrakumar, Hua Lin Rachael Wang, Michelle Clarke, Thomas R. Sullivan, Ross M. Andrews, Mary Ramsay, Helen S. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Invasive meningococcal disease (IMD), caused by Neisseria meningitidis, leads to significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. This review aimed to establish the effectiveness of meningococcal vaccines at preventing IMD and N. meningitidis pharyngeal carriage. 

METHODS: A search within PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and unpublished studies up to 1 February 2020 was conducted. 

RESULTS: After removal of duplicates, 8565 studies were screened and 27 studies included. Protection was provided by meningococcal C vaccines for group C IMD (odds ratio [OR], 0.13 [95% confidence interval {CI}, .07-.23]), outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccines against group B IMD (OR, 0.35 [95% CI, .25-.48]), and meningococcal A, C, W, Y (MenACWY) vaccines against group ACWY IMD (OR, 0.31 [95% CI, .20-.49]). A single time series analysis found a reduction following an infant 4CMenB program (incidence rate ratio, 0.25 [95% CI, .19-.36]). Multivalent MenACWY vaccines did not reduce carriage (relative risk [RR], 0.88 [95% CI, .66-1.18]), unlike monovalent C vaccines (RR, 0.50 [95% CI, .26-.97]). 4CMenB vaccine had no effect on group B carriage (RR, 1.12 [95% CI, .90-1.40]). There was also no reduction in group B carriage following MenB-FHbp vaccination (RR, 0.98 [95% CI, .53-1.79]). 

CONCLUSIONS: Meningococcal conjugate C, ACWY, and OMV vaccines are effective at reducing IMD. A small number of studies demonstrate that monovalent C conjugate vaccines reduce pharyngeal N. meningitidis carriage. There is no evidence of carriage reduction for multivalent MenACWY, OMV, or recombinant MenB vaccines, which has implications for immunization strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e609-e619
Number of pages11
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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