Research projects

Current Projects

There are currently 16 projects in our active research programme in addition to the MRF Meningococcus Genome Library, an ongoing research resource that was started with MRF funds.

Since the charity was founded in 1989, we have awarded 147 research grants. 

The total value of our investment in vital scientific research is over £18.6 million.

Click on the name of the project to find out more.

Prevention

Genome sequencing to better understand the meningococcus in Scotland

University of Hull, UK

All the meningococcus strains isolated in Scotland from 2009-2013. Nearly two hundred strains and their sequences will be made available to everyone who is interested in studying them by adding them to the existing MRF Meningococcus Genome Library.

Study of the duration of protection after mass vaccination with a new vaccine against epidemic meningitis in the general population of Burkina Faso, a country of the African meningitis belt

Agence de Médecine Préventive, Burkina Faso

Iinvestigating how long protection lasts after vaccination by taking blood samples from children and adults and measuring levels of immunity.

Investigating transmission of GBS to newborn babies in Malawi

Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Programme, Malawi

Using state-of the art genetic fingerprinting techniques to investigate the relationship between GBS bacteria carried by mothers and those causing severe GBS disease in Malawi.
 
Assessing the potential benefits of GBS vaccines

University of Cambridge, UK

Evaluating the potential costs and benefits of introducing a GBS (Group B streptococcal) vaccine in the UK. GBS is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in newborn babies.

 
Understanding meningococcal disease by simultaneously studying genetic blueprints of patients and the meningococci causing their illness

Public Health England, London, UK; University of Oxford, UK

Linking the MRF Meningococcal Genome Library and the 100k genomes project

* New project for 2015*
 
GBS Genome Library

Academic Medical Research Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

An online library of the genetic blueprint of Group B streptococcal bacteria

*New project for 2015*
 
Vaccinating expectant mothers against MenA

Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia; Public Health England, Manchester, UK

Protecting newborn infants from meningococcal A infection and meningitis

*New project for 2015*
 
Investigating how people value health benefits from childhood vaccination

University of Bristol; University of Cambridge; University of Birmingham

Informing vaccine policy in the future

*New project for 2015*
 
Determining whether MenB vaccines can prevent a particular meningococcal strain from causing disease

University of Leicester; Public Health England, Manchester

Evaluating MenB vaccines

*New project for 2015*
 

Prevention and treatment

An in-depth study of the genes involved with the susceptibility and the severity of meningococcal disease in children

Imperial College London, UK

Exploring the biological and functional role of genes in susceptibility and outcome of meningitis and septicaemia

 

Detection

Development of a molecular biology tool based algorithm to improve diagnosis in the African Meningitis Belt

Centre of Vaccine Development, Bamako, Mali

Testing for rarer meningococcal strains.

 
Using new genomic techniques to identify the causes of meningitis in UK children

University of Oxford

Improving detection and treatment

*New project for 2015*

 

Treatment

Defining meningitis in UK children in the conjugate vaccine era

University of Oxford, UK

Describing the symptoms, clinical signs and laboratory results of all children with meningitis. Investigating differences between children with bacterial and viral meningitis to determine how to differentiate these two groups.

 
Evaluation of corticosteroid therapy for severe septicaemia in children

University of Southampton; St Mary’s Hospital London and Bristol University, UK

Establishing the value of corticosteroid replacement therapy in childhood sepsis.

 
Improving meningitis survival among people living with AIDS in Tanzania

Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania

Maximising meningitis detection and prompt referral in a rural district

*New project for 2015*
 

Surveillance

Estimating the total burden of invasive meningococcal disease in England using multiple data sources

Public Health England London, UK

Achieving an accurate estimation of the burden of meningococcal disease in England.