Neither antibody to a group B streptococcal conjugate vaccine nor the vaccine itself is teratogenic in rabbits

 Abstract

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of human neonatal bacterial disease, resulting in pneumonia, sepsis, meningitis, and sometimes, death. Supportive preclinical studies of GBS capsular polysaccharide (CPS)-protein conjugate vaccines have led to several phase 1 and phase 2 trials in healthy, non-pregnant adults, which demonstrated that the vaccines, produced at the Channing Laboratory, were safe and immunogenic. However, evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity of a GBS conjugate vaccine administered to pregnant women demanded that it be manufactured under current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) and that it undergo developmental toxicity evaluation. In this report, we describe a GBS type III CPS-tetanus toxoid (III-TT) vaccine lot 3-1-96 manufactured and vialed under cGMP and our evaluation of the effect of this vaccine and of GBS type III CPS-specific antibody on conception and early- and late-stage fetal development in rabbits. III-TT lot 3-1-96 was compositionally similar to prototype III-TT lot 91-1, produced under non-GMP, and was potent in a mouse maternal vaccination-neonatal pup challenge model of GBS disease. Four groups of 30 female rabbits each were randomized to receive III-TT lot 3-1-96 vaccine, saline-alum, or combinations of these treatments before and after insemination. The dose of conjugated CPS on a weight basis was 1 µg/kg, mimicking the anticipated actual human dose. Based on the weight of the rabbits, this was 20- to 100-fold greater than the expected human dose. Does were pre-assigned to deliver litters naturally or have their kits delivered by Caesarean-section at gestation day 29, to assess late fetal development. Sera from does and kits were collected, and the presence of type III CPS-specific IgG was confirmed by quantitative ELISA. Based on all assessments, GBS type III-TT lot 3-1-96, nor antibody to it did not affect embryo-fetal viability, sex ratio, growth or cause malformations (i.e., it was non-teratogenic). In addition, that III-TT lot 3-1-96 was found to be safe and immunogenic in two clinical studies involving healthy non-pregnant adults supports a clinical evaluation of this vaccine in pregnant women.

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Pages
435 - 443
doi
10.4161/hv.4.6.6178
Type
Research Paper
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Neither antibody to a group B streptococcal conjugate vaccine nor the vaccine itself is teratogenic in rabbits