Researchers say step closer to meningitis B vaccine

Researchers said Monday they were a step closer to developing a vaccine against the type of meningitis that mostly affects Europe and North America and kills hundreds every year.

A trial in adolescents in Australia, Poland and Spain showed them developing an immune response without serious side-effects, according to a study published in The medical journal.

After taking the drug, the test group generated antibodies that are active against 90 percent of strains in the meningitis B group affecting the United States and Europe.

"Our data suggest that this vaccine is a promising and broadly protective meningococcal serogroup B ," said study lead author Peter Richmond from the University of Western Australia's School of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Meningitis, an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord, mostly targets teenagers -- with a of between five percent and 14 percent.

Many survivors suffer permanent and limb or hearing loss.

Vaccines exist against types A and C meningitis, but none that is broadly effective against strains in serogroup B, mostly prevalent in industrialised nations.

Type A is the primary cause of epidemic meningitis in Africa.

"The results showed that three doses produced an immune response, indicating protection, in 80 percent to 100 percent of adolescents," said a statement.

"Mild to moderate pain at the injection site was the most commonly reported side effect."

The authors said further trials must be held to determine the duration of vaccine protection.

"If additional studies show similar immunogenicity (the ability to produce an ) and tolerability, this vaccine might help to reduce the global burden of invasive meningococcal disease," said Richmond.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Meningitis B type vaccine available soon

Jan 20, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers in Chile have successfully tested a vaccine against meningococcus B, a strain of bacteria that causes meningococcal diseases, including one of the commonest forms of meningitis, a disease in ...

FDA expands meningitis vaccine approval

Oct 22, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval for the use of Menactra, a bacterial meningitis vaccine, to children ages 2 to 10.

Recommended for you

US approves new, hard-to-abuse hydrocodone pill (Update)

Nov 20, 2014

U.S. government health regulators on Thursday approved the first hard-to-abuse version of the painkiller hydrocodone, offering an alternative to a similar medication that has been widely criticized for lacking ...

Soaring generic drug prices draw Senate scrutiny

Nov 20, 2014

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington ...

Only half of patients take their medications as prescribed

Nov 20, 2014

The cost of patients not taking their medications as prescribed can be substantial in terms of their health. Although a large amount of research evidence has tried to address this problem, there are no well-established ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.