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Children with perinatally acquired HIV (PHIV) have special vaccination needs, as they make suboptimal immune responses. Here, we evaluated safety and immunogenicity of 2 doses of 4-component group B meningococcal vaccine in antiretroviral therapy-treated children with PHIV and healthy controls (HCs). Assessments included the standard human serum bactericidal antibody (hSBA) assay and measurement of IgG titers against capsular group B Neisseria meningitidis antigens (fHbp, NHBA, NadA). The B cell compartment and vaccine-induced antigen-specific (fHbp+) B cells were investigated by flow cytometry, and gene expression was investigated by multiplexed real-time PCR. A good safety and immunogenicity profile was shown in both groups; however, PHIV demonstrated a reduced immunogenicity compared with HCs. Additionally, PHIV showed a reduced frequency of fHbp+ and an altered B cell subset distribution, with higher fHbp+ frequency in activated memory and tissue-like memory B cells. Gene expression analyses on these cells revealed distinct mechanisms between PHIV and HC seroconverters. Overall, these data suggest that PHIV presents a diverse immune signature following vaccination. The impact of such perturbation on long-term maintenance of vaccine-induced immunity should be further evaluated in vulnerable populations, such as people with PHIV.

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AIDS/HIV, Adaptive immunity, Bacterial vaccines, Vaccines, Humans, HIV Infections, Male, Female, Child, Meningococcal Vaccines, Child, Preschool, Meningococcal Infections, Antibodies, Bacterial, B-Lymphocytes, Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical, Immunogenicity, Vaccine, Immunoglobulin G