Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccination for all Meningitis strains?

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Scientists have taken a significant and important step in keeping people safe from the most common form of meningitis in the UK. Meningitis B (also known as Meningococcal group B or MenB) is one of the deadliest strains of meningitis. Each year, an average of 1,870 people in the UK are affected by the disease with one in 10 people dying from it. Recently the first potentially universal MenB vaccine - Bexsero - was awarded a license for use throughout Europe, but it has been estimated that in this country, this new vaccine should protect against 73 per cent of the bacterial strains that cause the disease. Now medical researchers have discovered a potential way of protecting people against the other 27 per cent of strains of the disease.

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.

Related Articles


Meningitis B (also known as Meningococcal group B or MenB) is one of the deadliest strains of meningitis. Each year, an average of 1,870 people in the UK are affected by the disease with one in 10 people dying from it.

Recently the first potentially universal MenB vaccine -- Bexsero -- was awarded a license for use throughout Europe, but it has been estimated that in this country, this new vaccine should protect against 73 per cent of the bacterial strains that cause the disease.

Now Dr Myron Christodoulides, Reader in Molecular Bacteriology/Microbiology at the University, and his team have discovered a potential way of protecting people against the other 27 per cent of strains of the disease.

In a study, published in mBio February 26, 2013, the University of Southampton team discovered that a MenB protein called the Adhesin Complex Protein (ACP) is a new molecule that the MenB bacterium uses to stick to human cells.

Importantly, ACP also stimulates the production of antibodies that kill the bacteria. The team demonstrated that antibodies induced to an experimental ACP vaccine had the ability to stimulate protection against many more MenB strains.

Dr Christodoulides, who is also scientific Chairman for the Meningitis UK Scientific and Medical Panel, comments: "We are now starting to see the first generation of vaccines for Meningitis B, which is a fantastic development but we know that they may not be 100 per cent effective at this stage.

"There are already a number of successful vaccines that can prevent many cases of bacterial meningitis, including the Meningitis C, HIB and pneumococcal vaccines. These vaccines are made from the 'jelly-like' coats that surround these bacteria.

"But the issue with Meningitis B is that the coating of this bacterium has similar characteristics to a human protein found in the brain, and therefore if we used the same method, we would potentially create antibodies against the body's own protein."

ACP was identified from a previous study done by the team in Southampton, in which they analysed the types of protein that were present in the membrane that is found underneath the 'jelly-like' coat of the bacterium. The team believed that because these proteins might be exposed on the surface of the membrane, they could conceivably be targeted by the human immune system. The team confirmed that ACP was indeed exposed on the bacterium's surface and also that it was present in all the strains of meningococci that they were able to examine.

Dr Christodoulides adds: "We believe that ACP is potentially something that will bridge the gap that Bexerso does not appear to cover and break through into the second generation of vaccines for Meningitis B."

Dr Christodoulides and his team will continue preclinical work with the potential vaccine with an aim of taking it to Phase 1 trials.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Miao-Chiu Hung, John E. Heckels, Myron Christodoulides. The Adhesin Complex Protein (ACP) of Neisseria meningitidis Is a New Adhesin with Vaccine Potential. mBio, 2013 DOI: 10.1128/%u200BmBio.00041-13

Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Vaccination for all Meningitis strains?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085834.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2013, February 27). Vaccination for all Meningitis strains?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085834.htm
University of Southampton. "Vaccination for all Meningitis strains?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227085834.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins