Complete description of pneumococcal vaccine targets
New tools in the fight against pneumococci – the bugs targeted by vaccines recently announced by the Department of Health – are described by a team led by scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. They have put together a complete description of the targets of the vaccine that will help monitor the disease and provide new tools for rapid diagnosis.
Pneumococci (formal name Streptococcus pneumoniae) are widespread, causing non-invasive disease, such as ear and sinus infections, and rarer, invasive disease, such as pneumonia and meningitis. About one in three children each year has an ear infection, of which about one-third will be due to the pneumococcus. More significantly, invasive disease is a major cause of death: around 1 million people, mostly young children in developing countries, die each year.
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