No work was accomplished on this project this year. Vaccine development against group B meningococcal meningitis is complicated by its capsular polysaccharide (PSA), an a 2-8-linked poly-sialic acid that is identical to the surface saccharide of the E. coli K1 capsular polysaccharide and to host structures especially during development. Despite effective antibiotic and supportive therapy, the mortality and morbidity of systemic infections, especially of meningitis caused by group B meningococci and Escherichia coli K1, remain unacceptably high. Group B meningococci (GBM) continue to cause epidemics and outbreaks throughout the world and E. coli K1 is a major cause of neonatal meningitis and of kidney infections.
The aim of this study is to examine evidence or the lack thereof of the association between PSA antibodies and autoimmune disease.

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Gottfredsson, Magnus; Reynisson, Ingi K; Ingvarsson, Ragnar F et al. (2011) Comparative long-term adverse effects elicited by invasive group B and C meningococcal infections. Clin Infect Dis 53:e117-24
Robbins, John B; Schneerson, Rachel; Xie, Guilin et al. (2011) Capsular polysaccharide vaccine for Group B Neisseria meningitidis, Escherichia coli K1, and Pasteurella haemolytica A2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 108:17871-5
Howitz, Michael F; Simonsen, Jacob; Krause, Tyra Grove et al. (2009) Risk of adverse birth outcome after group B meningococcal disease: results from a Danish national cohort. Pediatr Infect Dis J 28:199-203