Age-related efficacy of Shigella O-specific polysaccharide conjugates in 1-4-year-old Israeli children

Justen H. Passwell, Shai Ashkenzi, Yonit Banet-Levi, Reut Ramon-Saraf, Nahid Farzam, Liat Lerner-Geva, Hadas Even-Nir, Baruch Yerushalmi, Chiayung Chu, Joseph Shiloach, John B. Robbins, Rachel Schneerson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite its high worldwide morbidity and mortality, there is yet no licensed vaccine for shigellosis. We reported the safety and immunogenicity of Shigella O-specific polysaccharide-protein conjugates in adults and young children and efficacy of Shigella sonnei conjugate in young adults. Methods: A double-blinded, randomized and vaccine-controlled Phase 3 evaluation of S. sonnei and Shigella flexneri 2a O-SP-rEPA conjugates, 25 μg, injected IM twice, 6 weeks apart, into healthy 1-4 years old, is reported. The children were followed for 2 years by telephone every other week and stool cultures were obtained for each episode of acute diarrhea (≥3 loose stools/day or a bloody/mucous stool). Sera were taken randomly from 10% of the participants for IgG anti-LPS and anti-carrier levels. Results: Of the 2799 enrollees, 1433 received S. sonnei and 1366 S. flexneri 2a conjugates; 2699 (96.4%) completed the 2-year follow-up. Local reactions occurred in ∼5% and ∼4% had temperatures ≥38.0 °C lasting 1-2 days. There were no serious adverse events attributable to the vaccines. Of the 3295 stool cultures obtained, 125 yielded S. sonnei and 21 S. flexneri 2a. Immunogenicity and efficacy were age-related. The overall efficacy of the S. sonnei conjugate was 27.5%; 71.1% (P = 0.043) in the 3-4 years old. The numbers for S. flexneri 2a were too few for meaningful analysis. Cross-protection by S. flexneri 2a for non-vaccine S. flexneri types was found, but the numbers were too few for statistical significance. There was an age-related rise of vaccine-specific IgG anti-LPS in both groups, peaking at about 10 weeks and declining thereafter, but remaining ≥4-fold higher than in the controls 2 years after the second dose. Conclusions: Shigella conjugates are safe and immunogenic in 1-4 years old. The S. sonnei conjugate elicited 71.1% efficacy in the 3-4 years old and can be predicted to be efficacious in individuals older than 3 years of age. These results urge studies with our improved conjugates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-2235
Number of pages5
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related
  • Efficacy
  • Shigellosis
  • Vaccines


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