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Eculizumab treatment and impaired opsonophagocytic killing of meningococci by whole blood from immunized adults.


ABSTRACT: Eculizumab, a humanized anti-complement C5 monoclonal antibody (mAb) for treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome, blocks the terminal complement pathway required for serum bactericidal activity (SBA). Because treated patients are at >1000-fold increased risk of meningococcal disease, vaccination is recommended; whether vaccination can protect by opsonophagocytic activity in the absence of SBA is not known. Meningococci were added to anticoagulated blood from 12 healthy adults vaccinated with meningococcal serogroup B and serogroup A, C, W, Y vaccines. Bacterial survival was measured after 3-hour incubation in the presence of eculizumab or control complement factor D inhibitor ACH-4471, which blocks the complement alternative pathway (AP) and is in phase 2 development for treatment of PNH. In the absence of inhibitors, colony formation units (CFUs) per milliliter in blood from all 12 immunized subjects decreased from ?4000 at time 0 to sterile cultures at 3 hours. In the presence of eculizumab, there was a >22-fold increase in geometric mean CFUs per milliliter (90?596 and 114?683 CFU/mL for serogroup B and C strains, respectively; P < .0001 compared with time 0). In the presence of ACH-4471, there was a >12-fold decrease (23 and 331 CFU/mL, respectively; P < .0001). The lack of meningococci killing by blood containing eculizumab resulted from inhibition of release of C5a, a C5 split product needed for upregulation of phagocytosis. The results provide an explanation for the large number of cases of meningococcal disease in immunized patients being treated with eculizumab and suggest that vaccination may provide better protection against meningococcal disease in patients treated with an AP-specific inhibitor.

SUBMITTER: Konar M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5561903 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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