MRF funds pioneering new research that could eventually help stop loss of limbs from meningitis

Understanding meningococcus-induced blood clotting - Working towards new therapeutics for purpura fulminans

Scientific version
  • Researchers:
    Professor Xavier Nassif
  • Start Date:
    19 May 2016
  • Category:
    Treatment
  • Location:
    Institut Necker, Paris, France
MRF funds pioneering new research that could eventually help stop loss of limbs from meningitis

What is this project about?

In meningococcal disease, widespread and uncontrolled blood clotting within the vessels blocks the supply of oxygenated blood to tissues with catastrophic consequences, including amputation and death. This cascade of uninhibited blood clotting is known as purpura fulminans syndrome. 

Previous research by Professor Xavier Nassif and his colleagues has shown that meningococci adhere to the blood vessel cells and interrupt the biochemical reactions that prevent blood clots from forming in the vessels. More specifically, the bacteria prevent a very important blood clotting inhibitor called activated Protein C (aPC) from playing its role. 

This project aims to decipher how meningococci inhibit aPC function. The results could form the basis for the development of new therapeutics to prevent purpura fulminans syndrome in patients with meningococcal disease.