Meningococcal Disease

Neisseria meningitidis causes meningitis (infection of the linings of the brain and spinal cord) as well as bacteremia or septicemia (infection of the bloodstream).  Meningococcal disease is a global healthcare issue with 1.2 million cases per annum.  Like pneumococcus, N. meningitidis produces a polysaccharide capsule that protects the bacteria from the host immune system, however, antibodies against the capsule are protective against infection.  Three meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines are currently on the market.  The meningococcal vaccine market was $1.2 billion in 2012 and is expected to double over the next decade