Investigating a universal 'reverse vaccinology' MenB vaccine - structural studies to prepare for clinical trials.

Preventing Group B meningococcal disease.

Scientific version
  • Researchers:
    Angela Martino, Dr Barbara Bolgiano, Prof Ian Feavers
  • Start Date:
    01 January 2006
  • Category:
    Prevention
  • Location:
    National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Hertfordshire, UK
Investigating a universal 'reverse vaccinology' MenB vaccine - structural studies to prepare for clinical trials.

A promising MenB vaccine has been developed through 'reverse vaccinology' a cutting edge technique made possible by deciphering the complete genetic code of meningococcal bacteria.  This vaccine is likely to provide wider protection against the range of sub-strains of Group B meningococcal disease circulating in the UK and Ireland.  Most MenB candidate vaccines developed so far have been sub-strain specific. 

The new vaccine contains a cocktail of proteins that can produce protective antibodies that are likely to protect against many of the different sub-strains of group B meningococcal bacteria in the UK and Ireland.  However, these proteins can vary from one batch of vaccine to another and this problem must be controlled.  This project will look at the size and 3-D shape of these proteins by using powerful microscopy techniques to see which features of the proteins trigger the production of antibodies that can recognise and destroy any invading group B meningococcal bacteria.

If this new vaccine then proves to be successful in clinical trials, it could bring about a major advance in preventing meningococcal B disease.