Licensing status

Publication and contact information

Infectious disease

Bacterial infection; meningitis

Basigin Ok blood group (BSG; EMMPRIN; CD147); Neisseria meningitidis type IV pilus assembly protein (pilV); N. meningitidis major pilin PilE (pilE)

Cell culture, mouse and ex vivo tissue studies suggest blocking the interaction between pilin subunits pilV or pilE and their receptor CD147 could help prevent or treat meningococcal infections. In human endothelial cell cultures, CD147-specific siRNAs or antibodies decreased adhesion of N. meningitidis compared with control siRNA or antibodies. In mice grafted with human skin containing functional blood vessels, N. meningitidis with pilV or pilE colonized the human vasculature, whereas N. meningitidis lacking the pilin subunits did not. In ex vivo human brain tissue, wild-type N. meningitidis colonized CD147+ endothelial cells, leptomeningeal cells and cortical brain vessels. Next steps include identifying specific pilE and pilV epitopes that interact with CD147 to develop targeted antibodies. SHX Vaccines is financing the studies(see Managing meningitis, page 10).

SciBX 7(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.740
Published online June 26, 2014

Patented; licensed to SHX Vaccines

Bernard, S.C. et al. Nat. Med.; published online June 1, 2014; doi:10.1038/nm.3563
Contact: Sandrine Bourdoulous, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Paris, France