Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Meningitis vaccine study gets £200,000 boost

08.02.2008
It can kill in four hours and more than 300 people in the UK die from it every year — and hundreds more are left with permanent disabilities. Now researchers will work on a potential vaccine for meningitis B, thanks to a £200,000 grant from the medical charity Meningitis UK.

Although vaccines exist to protect against some strains of meningitis, there is still no vaccine to protect against all strains, including the most common in the UK — Group B meningococci. This is responsible for almost 90 per cent of all cases and is most common in children under the age of five.

The team, led by Dr Karl Wooldridge, a lecturer in the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, aim to develop a vaccine against this strain of the bacterium. Group B meningococci mimic molecules in the human body, which makes developing an effective vaccine against this strain very difficult.

Researchers worldwide are searching for alternative antigens — molecules that can stimulate an immune response — on the surface of the bacteria, which could be used as a basis for a vaccine against meningitis B.

The team has identified a series of autotransporter proteins — proteins which are secreted from the surface of Group B meningococci — which could be used to create antibodies that will then kill the bacteria.

The grant will be used to fund a two-year research post, examining each of the proteins produced by the bacteria for the potential to create effective antibodies. The genetic code for each protein will be cloned and tagged, allowing the protein to be produced in large amounts and purified for further study.

“If we identify one or more of these proteins that give a good protective response we would ultimately move to human trials,” said Dr Wooldridge. “This would hopefully demonstrate a positive immune response to the vaccine. By identifying a range of active proteins, rather than just one, we could develop a vaccine that targeted all strains of the Group B meningococci.”

Meningitis UK launched its Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign in 2007 to help raise £7million over the next seven years to fund vital work into developing a vaccine against Group B. This innovative project is just one of the studies the charity is funding.

Meningitis UK’s Chief Executive Steve Dayman said: “We are extremely pleased to be funding Dr Karl Wooldridge and his team in their work to discover more about the proteins secreted by the Meningitis B bacteria. If this research can go forward to help develop a vaccine, thousands of lives could be saved.

“Meningitis can be incredibly hard to detect as many of its symptoms are often similar to more minor ailments such as the common cold or flu, plus there are occasions when people show no, or very few, symptoms. For these reasons, we believe the only way to eradicate meningitis completely is through the development of a preventative vaccine.”

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>