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 Deep stimulation improves cognitive control by augmenting brain rhythms
04.04.2019 | Picower Institute at MIT

nachricht Black nanoparticles slow the growth of tumors
04.04.2019 | Technische Universität München

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: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>