Establishing a Global Meningitis Genome Partnership
The establishment of the Partnership is an integral part of the new WHO Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030
. Developed by a World Health Organization-led task force, the Roadmap offers the ideal opportunity to create a new vision for the role that whole genome sequencing can play in defeating meningitis, particularly through improving the global surveillance of the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
The bacteria that cause meningitis can rapidly travel the globe, therefore gathering genetic information from across the world is vital to defeating it.
The Partnership will enable the impacts of whole genome sequencing to be delivered through supporting international co-ordination of strain identification and tracking, encouraging wider international participation, and enabling the public benefits of genetic sequencing to be delivered.
An expert steering group, which includes representatives from the, Institut Patseur, MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Public Health England, University College London, University of Oxford, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Wellcome Sanger Insitute and the World Health Organization has been established to guide progress of the Partnership, and important next steps will include:
- developing guidelines on open-access sharing of the data to ensure that it is made freely accessible to all
- ensuring that the data is accompanied by meaningful information so users can understand where the sample was derived from
- identifying which countries are missing from existing libraries, particularly those with a large burden of meningitis, so that they can be included
- facilitating development of user-friendly interfaces that represent publicly available data in a way that people can understand.
A scientific paper which describes the aims and objectives of the partnership is freely available here: https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(20)30446-1/abstract
This work is being supported by GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi. This work is undertaken independently and funders have no influence on its conduct. This website is operated independently and funders have no editorial control over its contents.