Genomic techniques in identifying bacterial meningitis and assessing disease severity.

Diagnosing meningitis using genetic activity.

Scientific version
  • Researchers:
    Dr Damien Chaussabel, Dr Jacques Banchereau, Prof George McCracken, Prof Octavio Ramilo
  • Start Date:
    01 February 2007
  • Category:
  • Location:
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas, USA
Genomic techniques in identifying bacterial meningitis and assessing disease severity.

In recent years there have been tremendous scientific advances in techniques used to study genes and genetic activity.  This study will take advantage of innovative techniques that enable us to measure the activity of all genes in the human genome using a single blood sample.

When bacteria or viruses infect the human body, each type of infection stimulates a very specific body response at the genetic level. In this project, scientists will measure those specific responses in a precise way, which will allow bacterial meningitis to be distinguished from other types of infection with a blood test. In addition, the blood test will allow differentiation between different causes of meningitis. In the second part of the study, researchers will attempt to develop blood tests that will provide information on the severity of the illness.
In order to obtain enough blood samples from patients with different kinds of meningitis and other infections, the study centre in Dallas will collaborate with health centres in Spain, Chile, Panama, and Costa Rica.

Nikki had meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia

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