Researchers are close to finding a shot that protects against many strains of meningococcal B, the most prevalent cause of a rare but serious infection affecting brain and spinal cord membranes.
The disease can become fatal or cause great harm if you are not treated right away. Symptoms are red spots, a rundown feeling, sudden high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea or vomiting, discomfort in bright lights, drowsiness or difficulty in awakening, joint pain, etc.
The trials of the potential vaccine had found it to be safe and stimulating an effective immune response, the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases reports.
“Meningococcal B can cause meningitis and blood poisoning and can progress very quickly with devastating effects,” said Peter Richmond, from the University of Western Australia (UWA), who led the study.
Children between the ages of one month and one year are most at risk from meningococcal with a second peak in adolescents, he added, according to an UWA statement.
“The development of a vaccine to protect against multiple strains of meningococcal B is particularly important in Western Australia and in many regions of Europe and North America where this particular type of meningococcal disease is most prevalent,” added Richmond, associate professor from UWA School of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Richmond said the trial data showed that the potential vaccine produced protective antibodies against 90 per cent of the invasive meningococcus serogroup B strains tested.
This phase two trial enrolled 539 healthy adolescents from 25 sites across Australia, Poland and Spain to test the safety and immune response of the lipoprotein 2086 vaccine. The bug’s B strains account for more than 90 per cent of meningococcal cases in Western Australia.