Analysing meningitis genes to identify new treatments

April 19, 2013
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."

Explore further: A new strategy for developing meningitis vaccines

Related Stories

A new strategy for developing meningitis vaccines

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 ...

EU drug regulator OKs Novartis' meningitis B shot

November 16, 2012
Europe's top drug regulator has recommended approval for the first vaccine against meningitis B, made by Novartis AG.

Bridging the gap: Hope that all Meningitis strains will be vaccinated for

February 27, 2013
Scientists at the University of Southampton have taken a significant and important step in keeping people safe from the most common form of meningitis in the UK.

Recommended for you

Anti-malaria drug shows promise as Zika virus treatment

November 17, 2017
A new collaborative study led by researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) and UC San Diego School of Medicine has found that a medication used to prevent and treat malaria may also be effective ...

Decrease in sunshine, increase in Rickets

November 17, 2017
A University of Toronto student and professor have teamed up to discover that Britain's increasing cloudiness during the summer could be an important reason for the mysterious increase in Rickets among British children over ...

Scientists identify biomarkers that indicate likelihood of survival in infected patients

November 17, 2017
Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease.

Research team unlocks secrets of Ebola

November 16, 2017
In a comprehensive and complex molecular study of blood samples from Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, published today (Nov. 16, 2017) in Cell Host and Microbe, a scientific team led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison has ...

Study raises possibility of naturally acquired immunity against Zika virus

November 16, 2017
Birth defects in babies born infected with Zika virus remain a major health concern. Now, scientists suggest the possibility that some women in high-risk Zika regions may already be protected and not know it.

A structural clue to attacking malaria's 'Achilles heel'

November 16, 2017
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and PATH's Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) have shed light on how the human immune system recognizes the malaria parasite though investigation of antibodies generated ...

0 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.