Scientists Find Potential Vaccine For Meningitis B
Health & Medicine
May 8, 2012
Researchers are a step closer to finding a vaccine that protects against a wide range of strains of meningococcal B – the most common cause of meningitis in Western Australia.
AsianScientist (May 8, 2012) – Researchers are a step closer to finding a vaccine that protects against a wide range of strains of meningococcal B – the most common cause of meningitis in Western Australia.
New research published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases showed the trials of the potential vaccine had found it to be safe and that it stimulated an effective immune response.
The report’s author, Associate Professor Peter Richmond, from The University of Western Australia, heads the Vaccine Trials Group, a collaboration between the UWA-affiliated Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Princess Margaret Hospital.
“While children in Australia are routinely vaccinated against meningococcal C, there has been no vaccine available to protect against meningococcal B which is the most common cause of the disease in WA and in countries where Australians widely travel,” said Richmond.
Richmond, from UWA’s School of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the trial data showed that the potential vaccine produced protective antibodies against 90 percent of the invasive meningococcus serogroup B strains tested.
This Phase II trial enrolled 539 healthy adolescents from 25 sites across Australia, Poland, and Spain to test the safety and immune response of the lipoprotein 2086 vaccine.
The B strains of the bacteria account for more than 90 percent of meningococcal cases in WA.
“Meningococcal B can cause meningitis and blood poisoning and can progress very quickly with devastating effects,” Richmond said.
“Children between the ages of one month and one year are most at risk from meningococcal with a second peak in adolescents. This is the last major cause of meningitis for which we don’t have a vaccine,” he said.
The scientists expect the next stage of development to involve bigger trials in a wider range of age groups, said Richmond.
The article can be found at: Richmond PC et al. (2012) Safety, immunogenicity, and tolerability of meningococcal serogroup B bivalent recombinant lipoprotein 2086 vaccine in healthy adolescents: a randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.
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