Navigation Links
Researchers Closer to Developing Universal Meningitis B Vaccine
Date:7/15/2011

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- New research may bring scientists one step closer to developing a vaccine that protects against hundreds of strains of meningococcus B, the most common cause of bacterial meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, can cause brain damage and death. Existing vaccines cover four of five types of bacteria that cause the disease, but developing a vaccine against meningococcus B has been challenging because more than 300 strains exist.

For this study, researchers with Novartis, the pharmaceuticals giant, and the University of Florence in Italy bioengineered 54 immunogens, which are substances that can elicit an immune response. They then tested these immunogens in mice to see which ones encouraged the development of antibodies when exposed to diverse strains of meningococcus B. From there, they tested eight particular immunogens that triggered the best antibody response in a mouse model against a larger, more diverse group of meningococcus B strains. This experiment allowed them to pinpoint the most effective candidate.

"The cool thing about what these researchers did is that they bioengineered their own variant," said Dr. Alka Khaitan, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. "The new technology would allow us to look at all the variations and then pick and choose the ones that are likely to be protective."

More study is needed, but if the technology becomes widely available, it could also foster the development of vaccines for malaria and HIV, the virus that cause AIDS, she said. HIV and malaria also have many variations, which has hampered vaccine development.

The study results are published July 13 in Science Translational Medicine.

Meningococcal B is highly contagious. Infants are at highest risk of infection, and if they survive, they may end up with learning disabilities, hearing loss or loss of limbs, according to the study. Disease onset occurs so fast that antibiotics are sometimes unable to stop it.

"We have failed up to now to develop a vaccine, and we have seen epidemics related to meningococcus B," said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease expert at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

"In a young healthy person, this strain can cause severe illness or death within hours, so the ability to prevent it in college dormitories, military recruits and crowded conditions is very important," Hirsch said.

Dr. Peter D. Kwong, of the vaccine research center of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Md., and co-author of an accompanying editorial, said the new technology may one day take the gamble out of developing the annual flu vaccine. Each year, scientists develop a vaccine based on projections and predictions.

"If we could develop one that provides quite broad protection against all flu strains, we may be able to have a general flu vaccine, so we don't need a new one every season," he said.

That said, many hurdles remain in terms of developing new vaccines, including safety and efficacy trials as well as cost and delivery issues.

More information

For more information about meningitis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCE: Peter D, Kwong, Ph.D., Vaccine Research Center, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md.; Alka Khaitan, M.D., pediatric infectious disease specialist, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Bruce Hirsch, M.D., infectious disease expert, North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; July 13, 2011, Science Translational Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Novel Virus Jumped From Monkeys to Humans, Researchers Find
2. Dentists can identify people with undiagnosed diabetes, Columbia researchers show
3. UAB researchers present a study on the psychological adaptation of adopted children
4. Researchers identify key role of microRNAs in melanoma metastasis
5. A change of heart: Penn researchers reprogram brain cells to become heart cells
6. Researchers identify early biomarker for future atopy in asymptomatic children
7. Berkeley Lab researchers apply NMR/MRI to microfluidic chromatography
8. Leeds researchers test benefit of fish oil in bowel cancer spread
9. Fox Chase researchers identify new mechanism used by cells to reverse silenced genes
10. BUSM researchers find herbal medicine treatment reduces inflammation in allergen-induced asthma
11. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University discover MS-like disease in monkeys
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers Closer to Developing Universal Meningitis B Vaccine
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... announced today the addition of an affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, Dr. Adam ... accelerated detox, Naltrexone therapy and aftercare planning through his Timewise Medical practice in ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... SyncDog, Inc., the leading ISV ... will be available in a managed cloud services model, available from its new ... new enhancements including support for caller ID and network sharing for remote users, ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... Church, VA (PRWEB) , ... September 25, 2017 ... ... & Trump, **An FDAnews Webinar**, Oct. 12, 2017 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 ... off to a running start. Just look what’s happened in four short months:, ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... The award is named in honor of Betty ... year the award is given to those who exemplify the mission of Community Options ... in communities of their choosing. Recent recipients of this award include Governor Tom Kean, ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... Just ask anyone old enough ... or 1980s, with headgear so wired up and containing so much metal that jokes ... so discreet that its treatments can barely be observed. As a result, it’s now ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing ... of targeted tissues, announced three leadership team developments today:   ... ... ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... Sept. 18, 2017 EpiVax, Inc. ... bioinformatics and immune engineering, today announced a ... A (H7N9) vaccine. ... seasonal influenza and presents a challenge for ... exposure to be effective. Using state-of-the-art bioinformatics and ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... 2017  Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer ... one company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle ... ... Consumers For Hearing Aids ... an online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: