B meningococcus (Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B) is a bacterium that causes rare but very serious infections such as meningitis and sepsis (blood infection). The mortality of these infections is about 10% and the risk of permanent sequelae 20-30% among survivors. Although they can occur at any age, most cases occur in children. The highest incidence and mortality is in healthy children under 3 years, followed by adolescents. We currently have a vaccine inmunopreventiva this germ.
Status of meningitis and sepsis in Spain
In Spain the main cause of invasive meningococcal disease (meningitis and sepsis) is the meningococcal B. Its incidence is 0.7 per 100,000 people / year, slightly higher than the European average. Another germ that was common is meningococcal C, which is fortunately controlled through vaccination.
Meningitis or meningococcal sepsis B can be treated with antibiotics, but sometimes progress is so fast that the treatment is not effective. In addition to its high mortality, including the associated consequences include: hearing loss, hydrocephalus, neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental problems, amputations, skin complications and kidney failure. Therefore, it is important to prevent infection through vaccination, and so recommended by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics .
Vaccine against meningitis B
It is a four component vaccine (4CMenB) designed by a novel technique called "reverse vaccinology". Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic in children, and to induce immunological memory. A study of meningococcal B strains from several European countries, among which includes Spain, has allowed predicting a 73-87% (percentage of potential effectiveness) would be covered by this vaccine. Is expected to have more information on the duration of immunogenicity, as has happened with vaccination against meningococcal C, could determine future changes in guidelines recommended immunization.
Care vaccine meningitis and sepsis
The vaccine should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature between +2 to +8 ºC, and should not be frozen. It should be injected intramuscularly at a dose of 0.5 ml. In children younger than 2 years, the thigh, and from 2 years on the shoulder. The number of doses to be administered depends on the age at which vaccination starts. It is recommended to start it from 2 months of age. One possible vaccination schedule for the start at that age (4 doses) is at 3, 5, 7 months and 15 months old.
The safety of the vaccine has been tested in clinical trials. In children under 24 months of age, it has been found that local and systemic adverse reactions most commonly observed are pain and erythema at the injection site, fever and irritability. Fever occurs most frequently when the vaccine was co-administered with routine vaccines (61%), which when applied alone (38%). Usually low, it is displayed in the first 6 hours and rarely lasts more than 36-48 h. The prophylactic use of paracetamol reduces the likelihood of fever as well as other local and systemic adverse effects, without affecting the immune response of the vaccine.
The vaccine is contraindicated if you have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose or to a vaccine component.