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May 26, 1969


JAMA. 1969;208(8):1277-1290. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160080005003

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Meningitis Antigens Form Vaccine  Polysaccharide antigens extracted from Group A and C meningococci may provide a vaccine against spinal meningitis, according to Emil C. Gotschlich, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Rockefeller University.No antigens have been isolated so far from Group B meningococci. The new vaccine produces local immunity capable of reducing the transmission of pathogenic meningococci.Animal experiments indicated the polysaccharides contain less than 1% biologically active endotoxin. Clinical tests revealed no toxicity except a minor skin reaction at the injection site. It is not known whether the vaccine can prevent disease in persons who have already been exposed to meningococci.The two polysaccharides were isolated previously, but received little attention until the development of sulfonamide-resistant strains of meningococci. Work on the immunological approach was stimulated recently by the findings of investigators at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center that susceptibility to meningococcal disease correlates with the