Analysing meningitis genes to identify new treatments

Analysing meningitis genes to identify new treatments

Scientists at the University of Liverpool are working to identify genes involved in the development of bacterial meningitis to support the search for new vaccine candidates.

Meningitis caused by is the most common in the UK and despite antibiotic treatment, morbidity and mortality still remains high, carrying a 30% chance of death.

Targeting bacterial genes

Scientists at Liverpool, supported by Meningitis UK, are using advanced bioinformatics and infection biology tools to identify the bacterial meningitis genes and their products associated with disease so that they can be targeted for new treatments and vaccines.

Combining world leading expertise in the field of genomics, proteomics and infection biology, the team will identify the essential genes involved in the development of meningitis and will relate products to phenotypic function so that they can be targeted for therapeutics or as potential vaccine candidates.
Professor Aras Kadioglu, from the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health, said: "Meningitis is a growing problem in the UK, and although the current protein is very effective, it only protects against 13 out of 90 different pneumococcal types.

Cross protection

"One issue with this is that we are seeing something called serotype replacement, which means that non-vaccine covered types are causing disease.

"It is unlikely that we will have a conjugate vaccine that will protect against all types, so the way forward is to develop novel therapeutics against pneumococcal that play a major role in the development of meningitis and to identify bacterial proteins as new vaccine candidates that will offer cross protection against all meningitis causing types."

Related Stories

A new strategy for developing meningitis vaccines

date May 24, 2012

Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the meninges, the protective membrane that covers the spinal cord and brain. Children, elderly patients and immunocompromised patients are at a higher risk for the development of severe ...

Pediatric vaccine effectively prevents pneumococcal meningitis

date Jan 14, 2009

A standard pediatric vaccine used to prevent several common types of life-threatening infections also effectively reduced the rates of another disease, pneumococcal meningitis, in children and adults, according to a multi-center ...

Recommended for you

Immigrant children given adult dose of hepatitis A vaccine

date Jul 04, 2015

About 250 immigrant children were given an adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine at a Texas detention facility where they were being held with their mothers, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

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.