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Meningitis Vaccine - New Hope

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Masanilo, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Masanilo

    Masanilo JF-Expert Member

    Aug 8, 2010
    Joined: Oct 2, 2007
    Messages: 22,324
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    Doctors have discovered a possible breakthrough in finding a vaccine for the deadliest strain of meningitis.

    They have identified certain human genes which are behind the infection - and these could lead to vital clues on how best to treat it. Genetic factors behind the deaths of children struck down by meningitis have been identified for the first time.

    Currently there is no vaccine for the Group B strain which each year claims thousands of live around the world. Scientists scoured the genetic codes of more than 6,000 people for clues to why certain individuals are more vulnerable to attacks by meningococcal meningitis than others.

    They found evidence that genetics plays a key role in the way the body responds to the infection. It was already known that most people carry the bugs in their throat without ever succumbing to the disease. But occasionally the bacteria strike with devastating force, leading to death in up to one in 10 cases. Around 1,500 cases of bacterial meningitis are recorded in the UK each year. Most victims are children under five and teenagers.

    Although people can be immunised against some types of meningococcal bacteria scientists have been unable to develop a vaccine against the Group B strain.

    The new research, led by teams in London and Singapore, involved the biggest ever genetic study of bacterial meningitis. Consultant paediatrician Dr Simon Nadel, of Imperial College, London, told Sky News: "This is a significant breakthrough because for the first time we've identified genes that are important in determining how susceptible we are to infection with this bacteria. "And it could mean that the proteins we've identified could be used to develop a vaccine to protect us against all the different types of meningitis bacteria."


    NB: Revelation of human genome will pave a way to the understanding of most bugs causing diseases in human at molecular level. Decoding genetics codes relating to diseases will help molecular medicine and new effective vaccines.