High Risk for Invasive Meningococcal Disease Among Patients Receiving Eculizumab (Soliris) Despite Receipt of Meningococcal Vaccine.
Use of eculizumab (Soliris, Alexion Pharmaceuticals), a terminal complement inhibitor, is associated with a 1,000-fold to 2,000-fold increased incidence of meningococcal disease (1). Administration of meningococcal vaccines is recommended for patients receiving eculizumab before beginning treatment (2,3). Sixteen cases of meningococcal disease were identified in eculizumab recipients in the United States during 2008-2016; among these, 11 were caused by nongroupable Neisseria meningitidis. Fourteen patients had documentation of receipt of at least 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine before disease onset. Because eculizumab recipients remain at risk for meningococcal disease even after receipt of meningococcal vaccines, some health care providers in the United States as well as public health agencies in other countries recommend antimicrobial prophylaxis for the duration of eculizumab treatment; a lifelong course of treatment is expected for many patients. Heightened awareness, early care seeking, and rapid treatment of any symptoms consistent with meningococcal disease are essential for all patients receiving eculizumab treatment, regardless of meningococcal vaccination or antimicrobial prophylaxis status.
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