What are the issues?
The risk of developing meningitis is highest in the newborn period. This is still a very serious illness despite availability of antibiotics for treatment. There are currently no vaccines against the main bacteria that cause meningitis in this age group (Group B Streptococcus and E coli). It is therefore important to find ways of improving current management.
What do we know now?
Preliminary information from the first part of this study between 2010 and 2011 showed that the number of cases has not decreased over time and sadly babies still die and some have severe consequences.
How do we take this knowledge forward?
Currently this group are recruiting into a healthcare delivery study where the management of each case of neonatal meningitis will be examined in detail. This will be added to the data already collected in the first part of the study which looked at just the number of cases and their causes.
The researchers are now specifically interested in the onset and progression of the problems as they are first noted by parents before hospital admission/diagnosis, the type of help sought and parental experience of hospital management.
They will also review each case’s medical notes in details to find out how they were managed in terms of timing of antibiotics, use of fluids and other types of therapy, complications and follow-up. This will provide important information for developing evidence based guidelines for the management of future cases.
Previous studies in England showed that about half of babies that suffered bacterial meningitis in their first month of life in the 1980s and 1990s developed some form of neuro-developmental problems at 5 year follow-up. This group therefore propose contacting the babies recruited to this current study at 2 years of age to assess their development, in order to see if this is still the case.
Who is eligible?
Babies less than 3 months of age, who have had confirmed bacterial meningitis from 01 July 2010 are eligible to take part.
How can you take part?
If your baby was affected by bacterial meningitis from July 2010 in the UK or ROI and was less than 90 days of age at the time, please contact MRF by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or via MRF helpline phone 080 8800 3344 (UK), 1800 41 33 44 (ROI).
You can also access the study information by contacting the study Research Fellow (Dr Okike) on 020 87 25 3887 or email@example.com
or by visiting www.neonin.com
Once you make contact and review the information, researchers will liase with your local hospital to get NHS approval if not in place already and then send the study pack to you via your child’s Paediatrician. In the pack will be a 30 minute questionnaire for you to complete. No blood test is required.
Members visit - March 2012
MRF members, including newly appointed MRF Ambassadors for London enjoyed a really interesting and informative trip to St George's Hospital to learn more about this research. Many had personal experience as parents of children with neonatal meningitis.
You can read more about the visit on our Patient and Public Involvement pages here
MRF Ambassador Onaiza and staff member Linda, talking to Professor Paul Heath during our members visit
Meningitis Symposium 2011
Each year, MRF hold a scientific symposium in Bristol on the latest advances in meningitis and septicaemia.
Dr Okike presented a talk about this project and neonatal meningitis in general at our 2011 symposium
MRF international conference 2011
This project was presented as a talk by Professor Paul Heath at our biannual scientific conference in London
, which was attended by leading experts in meningitis and septicaemia from around the world.
Dr Okike also presented a scientific poster showing some of the initial results of the work.
Publications and presentations
Along with our own events and conferences, Professor Paul Heath and his team have presented the initial results of this work at several scientific conferences around the world, including the World and European Societies of Paediatric Infectious Diseases, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and various hospital meetings.