MRF Conference 2021

Access speaker information, abstracts, presentations and posters

We were delighted to be joined by delegates from 36 countries, at the Meningitis Research Foundation 2021 13th International Conference - the world’s leading research conference focused solely on meningitis and related infections. Our 2021 event was aligned to the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030. Over 60 renowned scientists and global experts from 20 countries presented on a diversity of topics. The programme, see below on this page, includes lively panel discussions and poster presentations that showcased talent, in-depth knowledge and cutting-edge research. With the recent launch of the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 global roadmap, this is the ideal time to update your understanding of this devastating disease that is estimated to kill 250,000 people each year and leave many more with life-long impairments.

On this page you will find information about all the speakers who presented, speaker abstracts, and slides (where we have permission). You can find this information using the dropdowns at the top of the page, or via programme contents by clicking the dropdowns for ‘Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 contents’ which can be located by scrolling further down this webpage.

46 poster presenters presented their work (many posters are available here, see under the 'posters for downloading' section), and 15 authors were selected to give short oral presentations in three parallel poster tracks. The poster prize was awarded to Dr Emma Wall, UCL for the poster entitled: ‘Transcriptome analysis of CSF from meningitis patients identifies a novel Streptococcus pneumoniae operon that is essential for establishing brain infection.’

We had the pleasure of holding this year’s conference in association with ISSAD and were delighted to have worked together with ISSAD on the launch of the WHO GBS Full Value of Vaccines Assessment.

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Day 1: Monday 1st November

13.00-13.10
Welcome – Vinny Smith, CEO of Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) and Confederation of Meningitis Organisations (CoMO)

Impact of meningitis, patient experience and support and aftercare - Chair: Dr Senjuti Saha, Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh

13.10-13.35
Patient experience of meningitis and septicaemia in high and low to middle income regions – Jo Kirwin, UK member of MRF AND Adelaide Bortier, Ghana

13.35-14.00
Long-term impact of meningitis– what is known now and the research challenge for the Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Roadmap – Dr Nicoline Schiess, World Health Organization (WHO)

14.00-14.25
What follow up care after meningitis is expected, provided, and needed in high and low to middle income settings? – Professor Charles Newton, KEMRI Wellcome Trust and University of Oxford

14.25-14.40
BREAK

WHO Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 and allied initiatives - Chair: Professor James Stuart, WHO and University of Bristol

14.40-15.05
Implementing the Global Roadmap – how are we going to do it (including the research priorities within the global roadmap: what this means for the research community) – Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi, WHO

15.05-15.30
Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 – Strategic Framework – Professor Nelesh Govender, National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Johannesburg

15.30-15.55
Defeating Paediatric Tuberculous Meningitis: Applying the WHO “Defeating Meningitis by 2030: Global Roadmap” – Dr Robin Basu Roy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

15.55-16.10
BREAK

Lessons and impact for meningitis in the COVID-19 era – Chair and Moderator: Professor Adam Finn, University of Bristol

16.10-17:00
PANEL DISCUSSION -
Will meningitis rebound as COVID restrictions end? What needs to happen next?

Panellists from around the world will take part in a discussion contrasting models predicting a prolonged herd protection effect from social distancing vs the immunity gap due to reduced immunisation and reduced natural acquisition/ boosting of immunity.

  • Findings from the IRIS initiative, with a focus on Brazil, and commenting on the situation in Latin America - Professor Marco Safadi, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, Brazil

  • African perspective on COVID impact - Professor Shabir Madhi, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

  •  Models of COVID impact on meningitis infections - Dr Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge:

    • The relative predicted effect of social distancing on carriage vs lower vaccine coverage on IMD and IPD in the UK, and

    • The potential impact of MenAfriVac disruption on meningococcal A infection

  • The immunity gap in childhood due to the COVID-19 pandemic - Professor Muhamed-Kheir Taha, Institut Pasteur, Paris

Audience voting at the beginning and end on whether meningitis infections will rebound as Covid restrictions end

17:00-17:25
Using COVID vaccine technology to make faster, cheaper meningitis vaccines, and regulatory lessons from COVID- Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford

DAY 2: Tuesday 2nd November

12.10 - 13.00 Pfizer Satellite Symposium – Maintaining the momentum with meningococcal serogroup A, C, W and Y disease prevention

This promotional meeting is organised and funded by Pfizer Ltd and may include reference to Pfizer medicines relevant to the agenda topics.
 

Professor Marco Aurélio P. Sáfadi - Professor of Pediatrics, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medicine, Brazil

Professor Chiara Azzari - Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology, Meyer Children's Hospital, University of Florence, Italy
 

The epidemiology of invasive meningococcal disease and the serogroups responsible for causing infection varies by geography and over time. This symposium will explore diverse immunisation strategies that have been implemented in different countries to help control invasive disease meningococcal disease and the impact of these programmes.
 

Please note that, under the law and the ABPI Code of Practice, Pfizer may only promote its medicines to members of the healthcare professions and other relevant decision makers. Therefore, no unqualified person may attend this meeting.

Improving data for meningitis: recognition, diagnosis and surveillance - closing the ascertainment gap between people affected and laboratory surveillance - Chair: Dr Anne von Gottberg, NICD, Johannesburg

13.00-13.25
Advocacy and awareness raising activity and the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Roadmap – Rob Dawson, Meningitis Research Foundation

13.25-13.50
Challenges and possible solutions to improving laboratory confirmation of bacterial meningitis – Dr André Bita, WHO

13.50-14.15
Developing and deploying RDTs for the main meningitis pathogens: where we are now and what’s happening next - Dr Xin Wang, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

14.15-14.40
Distinguishing bacterial infections using a host signature: PERFORM- DIAMONDS studies – Dr Jethro Herberg, Imperial College London

14.40-15.05
Discriminatory host transcripts in the blood of adults with bacterial meningitis: TRIM study – Dr Mike Griffiths, University of Liverpool

15.05-15.20
BREAK

Genomics: the frontier of learning – Chair: Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust/LSHTM

15.20-15.45
Pneumococcal genomics, vaccines and AMR – Dr William Hanage, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

15.45-16.10
Hypervirulence and Group B Streptococcal Infection – Dr Odile Harrison, University of Oxford

16.10-16.25
How this will be made accessible through the Global Meningitis Genome Partnership – Professor Robert Heyderman, University College London

16:25-16:35
ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION

16.35-16.45
BREAK

16.45-17:30
POSTER PRESENTATIONS – THREE PARALLEL SESSIONS

16.45
Track 1: Prevention – Chair: Professor Paul Heath, St George’s University of London

16.48-16.54
Identification of Neisseria meningitidis specific patient derived antibodies using reverse vaccinology 2.0 - Camilla Gladstone, Imperial College London

16.54-17.00
Changes in the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany- Dr Manuel Krone, Wuerzburg University Hospital and German National Reference Laboratory for Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae

17.00-17.06
Natural Immunity in the African Meningitis Belt to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X: A Seroprevalence Study – Sara Katz, UK Health Security Agency

17.06-17.12
Neisseria lactamica induces anti-Neisseria meningitidis B cell responses- Dr Adam Dale, University of Southampton

17.12-17.18
Immunogenicity of a Single 4CMenB Vaccine Booster in Adolescents 11 Years After Childhood Immunisation - Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford

16.45 Track 2: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment – Chair: Dr Anne von Gottberg, NICD, Johannesburg

16.48-16.54
Transcriptome analysis of CSF from meningitis patients identifies a novel Streptococcus pneumoniae operon that is essential for establishing brain infection – Dr Emma Wall, UCL

16.54-17.00
Modelling meningococcal A conjugate vaccine coverage in the meningitis belt from 2010 to 2019 - Rose Bender, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington

17.00-17.06
Phase 3 Trial of Safety, Tolerability and Immunogenicity of V114, 15-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Compared with 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Adults 50 Years of Age and Older (PNEU-AGE) – Andrew Tran, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

17.06-17.12
In silico evaluation of current PCR diagnostic targets for the molecular detection of bacterial meningitis – Dr Kanny Diallo, Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique de Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan

17.12-17.18
Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) immune response of a novel tetanus toxoid conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACYW-TT) compared to a quadrivalent (MCV4-TT) or monovalent (MenC-TT) meningococcal vaccine in healthy meningococcal vaccine-naïve toddlers - Professor Markus Knuf, Children’s hospital, HSK, Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany

16.45 Track 3: Surveillance, Support and Advocacy - Chair: Professor Beate Kampmann, LSHTM

16.48-16.54
Assessing 4CMenB strain coverage of invasive meningococcal strains in an English and Welsh vaccine-eligible cohort using non-culture draft genome sequences- Dr Stephen Clark, UK Health Security Agency

16.54-17.00
Changes in Pneumococcal Meningitis Incidence Following Introduction of PCV10 and PCV13: Results from the Global PSERENADE Project - Yangyupei Yang, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

17.00-17.06
Rapid Transmission of a Hyper-Virulent Meningococcal Clone Due to High Effective Contact Numbers and Super Spreaders- Jonathan Holmes, University of Leicester

17.06-17.12
Sequelae at hospital discharge in 49 children with invasive meningococcal disease, Chile, 2009-2019 – Dr Rodolfo Villena, University of Chile

17.12-17.18
MEVacP : a public engagement website about meningitis and vaccine policy – Dr Odile Harrison, University of Oxford

17.30 Award for best poster

17.30 - 17.40
Award for best poster

DAY 3: Wednesday 3rd November

Prevention and epidemic control (1) – Chair: Professor Ray Borrow, UK Health Security Agency, Vaccine Evaluation Unit

9.00-9:10
Real-world evidence of 4CMenB vaccine effectiveness against meningococcal B disease and gonorrhoea in adolescents – Professor Helen Marshall, University of Adelaide

9:10-10.00
Combined with the above session

PANEL DISCUSSION: Potential for adolescent MenB immunisation programmes to control meningococcal B infection and gonorrhoea.

Moderator: Associate Professor Matthew Snape, University of Oxford

  • Case for teenage MenB prevention - Professor Federico Martinón Torres, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

  • Case for gonococcal prevention - Professor Cal MacLennan, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Oxford and University of Birmingham

  • WHO perspective - Dr Sami Gottlieb, WHO

  • Health economics perspective - Dr Hannah Christensen, University of Bristol

  • Follow up/Q&A from preceding talk - Professor Helen Marshall, University of Adelaide

Including live discussion, audience Q&A

Audience voting at the beginning and the end on ‘Should we introduce Bexsero into teenage immunisation programmes now?’

10:00-10:10
Potential use of MenABCWY vaccines - Associate Professor Matthew Snape, University of Oxford

10:10-10:20
BREAK

Prevention and epidemic control (2) - Chair and moderator: Professor Kate O’Brien, WHO

10.20-10.45
Conclusions of P-SERENADE project- implications for pneumococcal vaccine policy and what is happening next – Dr Maria Knoll, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

10.45-11.45
PANEL DISCUSSION:
Optimal schedules for control of pneumococcal infection in countries with high and low carriage

Moderated panel discussion on policy issue: switch from 3+0 to 2+1, will it make a difference to control? Is it a necessary step to establish herd protection?

  • What is the best PCV schedule for LMIC? results from trials in Asian countries - Professor Lay-Myint Yoshida, Nagasaki University, Japan AND Prof Shrijana Shrestha, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal

  • What we have learned from the UK on 1+1 vs 2+1 - Professor David Goldblatt, UCL

  • Role of catch up campaigns - Professor Anthony Scott, KEMRI Wellcome Trust

  • Caveats for PCV schedules that rely on herd effects in countries with intensive transmission - Professor Stefan Flasche, LSHTM

  • Prevention of ST-1 pneumococcal outbreaks in the meningitis belt - Dr Brenda Kwambana Adams, UCL

Including live discussion, Q&A, audience voting

11:45-12:00
BREAK

Prevention and epidemic control (3) - Chair and moderator: Professor James Stuart, WHO and University of Bristol

12:00-12:45
PANEL DISCUSSION
 How should MenACWYX vaccine be used in the meningitis belt? Is more research needed to inform strategy?

  • The importance of MenACWYX vaccine for meningitis belt countries - Professor Samba Sow, Center for Vaccine Development, Mali

  • GAVI view on the use of MenACWYX in the meningitis belt - Dr Lee Hampton, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Geneva
  • Which age groups should be targeted for mass vaccination campaigns? Results from modelling studies - Dr Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge
  • Deciding vaccine strategy based on current evidence - Dr Mark Alderson, PATH
  • The need for a cluster randomised trial on impact on carriage to inform vaccination strategy - Dr Matt Coldiron, Epicentre / Médecins Sans Frontières

Including live discussion, audience Q&A, and voting on 3 questions:

1. Once licensed and WHO prequalified, MenACWYX conjugate vaccine should replace MenA conjugate vaccine in EPI programmes across the meningitis belt combined with

  • A. no mass campaigns
  • B. mass campaigns of children/young adults across the belt
  • C. mass campaigns of children/young adults but only in highest risk countries

 

2. If mass campaigns are conducted, they should cover

  • A. 5-14 year olds
  • B. 1-19 year olds
  • C. 1-29 year olds

 

3. A cluster-randomised trial is needed now to measure the impact of MenACWYX vaccine on carriage to support decisions on vaccination strategy

  • A. Yes
  • B. No

 

12:45-12:50
Close - Vinny Smith, MRF and CoMO

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The steering committee for Meningitis Research Foundation Conference 2021:

  • Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust/LSHTM
  • Dr Mark Alderson, PATH
  • Professor Ray Borrow, Public Health England, Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Manchester
  • Professor Dominique Caugant, NIPH
  • Professor Sir Brian Greenwood, LSHTM
  • Professor Paul Heath, SGUL
  • Professor Robert Heyderman, UCL
  • Prof Beate Kampmann, LSHTM
  • Dr Brenda Kwambana Adams, UCL
  • Dr Senjuti Saha, Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Dr Matthew Snape, Oxford Vaccine Group
  • Professor James Stuart, University of Bristol/ WHO
  • Dr Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Anne von Gottberg, National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Johannesburg
  • Linda Glennie, Meningitis Research Foundation
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Dr Andre Bita
Challenges and possible solutions to improving laboratory confirmation of bacterial meningitis
Dr Jethro Herberg
Distinguishing bacterial infections using a host signature PERFORM DIAMONDS studies
Dr Maria Deloria Knoll
Conclusions from the PSERENADE Project Implications for Pneumococcal Vaccine Policy and What is Happening Next
Dr Marie Pierre Preziosi
Implementing the global road map on defeating meningitis by 2030
Dr Mike Griffiths
Discrimnatory host transcripts in the blood of adults with bacterial meningitis TRIM Study
Dr Nicoline Schiess
Long term impact of meningitis what is known now and the research challenge for the Roadmap
Dr Odile Harrison
Hypervirulence and Group B Streptococcal infection
Dr Robin Basu Roy
Defeating Paediatric Tuberculous Meningitis Applying the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Global Roadmap
Dr William Hanage
Pneumococcal genomics, vaccines and AMR
Dr Xin Wang
Developing and deploying RDTs for the main meningitis pathogens where we are now and whats happening next
Professor Charles Netwon
What follow up care after meningitis is expected, provided, and needed in high and low to middle income settings
Professor Helen Marshall
Real world evidence of 4CMenB vaccine effectiveness against meningococcal B disease and gonorrhoea in adolescents
Professor Matthew Snape
Potential use of MenABCWY vaccines
Professor Nelesh Govender
Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 Strategic Framework
Professor Rob Heyderman
How this will be made accessible through the Global Meningitis Genome Partnership
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard
Using COVID vaccine technology to make faster, cheaper meningitis vaccines, and regulatory lessons from COVID
Rob Dawson
Advocacy and awareness raising activity and the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Roadmap
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Professor Cal MacLennan
Case for gonococcal prevention
Dr Adam Dale
Neisseria lactamica induces anti Neisseria meningitidis B cell responses
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard
Immunogenicity of a Single 4CMenB Vaccine Booster in Adolescents 11 Years After Childhood Immunisation
Brenda Kwambana Adams
Prevention of ST-1 pneumococcal outbreaks in the meningitis belt
Camilla Gladstone
Identification of Neisseria meningitidis specific patient derived antibodies using reverse vaccinology 2 0
Caroline Trotter
Models of COVID impact on meningitis infections
Caroline Trotter
Which age groups should be targeted for mass vaccinations
Professor David Goldblatt
What we have learned from the UK
Dr Sami Gottlieb
MenB vaccines and prevention of gonococcal infection: a global perspective;
Dr William Hanage
Pneumococcal genomics, vaccines and AMR
Dr Lee Hampton
Gavi and Multivalent Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine;
Dr Manuel Krone
Changes during the epidemiology of IMD in Germany during the COVID 19 pandemic
Marco Safadi
Lessons and impact for meningitis in the COVID-19 era
Dr Maria Deloria Knoll
Conclusions from PSERENADE Project implications for pneumococcal vaccine policy and what is happening next
Professor Muhamed-Kheir Taha
The immunity gap in childhood due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Professor Nelesh Govender
Ending cryptococcal meningitis deaths by 2030 A strategic framework
Associate Professor Matthew Snape
Potential use of MenABCWY vaccines
Professor Sir Andrew Pollard
Using COVID vaccine technology to make faster, cheaper meningitis vaccines, and regulatory lessons from COVID
Prof Rob Heyderman
Global Meningitis Genome Partnership - What Have We Achieved and What Next?
Dr Rodolfo Villena
Sequelae at hospital discharge in 49 children with IMD, Chile, 2009 2019
Sara Katz
Natural Immunity in the African Meningitis Belt to Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup X A Seroprevalence Study
Professor Shrijana Shrestha
What is the best PCV schedule for LMIC
Professor Stefan Flasche
Caveats for PCV schedules that rely on herd effects in countries with intensive transmission
Dr Xin Wang
Next Generation RDTs
Yangyupei Yang
Changes in Pneumococcal Meningitis Incidence Following Introduction of PCV10 and PCV13 Results from the Global PSE

Posters for downloading

Meningitis and Septicaemia 2021 – Poster abstract book
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Asrar Rashid
The Neisseria Transcriptome in Septic Shock in Infants, a Force in Precision Cellular Dysfunction Detection?
George Gyamfi Brobbey
Serogroup analysis of Meningococcal strains causing Septic Meningococcal Arthritis in England and Wales: A retrospective study
Robeena Farzand
Use of high throughput phenotyping and genome wide association studies (GWAS) to identify genetic determinants of meningococcal disease traits
Ryan Hames
Replication in perivascular meningeal macrophages precedes meningitis in mice
Sile Molloy
Fluconazole plus flucytosine vs. fluconazole alone for cryptococcal antigen-positive patients identified through screening: A phase III randomised controlled trial
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Emilio Rodriguez
Regulation of Laterally Transferred ispD in Meningococcal Urethral Clade US_NmUC
Jonathan Holmes
Rapid Transmission of a Hyper-Virulent Meningococcal Clone Due to High Effective Contact Numbers and Super Spreaders
Rodolfo Villena
Acute Bacterial Meningitis: epidemiology dynamic in the last 3 decades in a latin american pediatric center
Sarah Goffin
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on meningococcal vaccine coverage and disease incidence in the UK
Sarah Goffin
Variations and inequalities in coverage of routine vaccinations against invasive meningococcal disease in the UK and Ireland
Stephen Clark
Assessing 4CMenB strain coverage of invasive meningococcal strains in an English and Welsh vaccine-eligible cohort using non-culture draft genome
Vivian Ssonko Namale
Etiologies of CABM and AMR patterns in Africa over the last 30 years: Systematic review
Yangyupei Yang
Changes in Pneumococcal Meningitis Incidence Following Introduction of PCV10 and PCV13: Results from the Global PSERENADE Project
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Adam Dale
Neisseria lactamica induces anti-Neisseria meningitidis B cell responses
Angelika Banzhoff
Recent advances in meningococcal b disease prevention: Real world evidence from 4cmenb vaccination
Camilla Gladstone
Identification of Neisseria meningitidis specific patient derived antibodies using reverse vaccinology 2.0
Chris Bayliss
University Student Attitudes to COVID-19 and Meningococcal Vaccine Uptake
Christine Rollier
Immunogenicity of a Single 4CMenB Vaccine Booster in Adolescents 11 Years After Childhood Immunisation
Christine Rollier
Human B cell Responses to Dominant and Sub-dominant Antigens induced by a Meningococcal Outer Membrane Vesicle Vaccine in a Phase I trial
Christine Rollier
A Novel Vaccine against Capsular Group B Meningococcal Disease Based on an Adenoviral Vector: Preclinical Development, Evaluation and Optimization for Clinical Development
Dhaarini Raghunathan
Identification of Neisseria surface protein A (NspA) mutants with low affinity for factor H as vaccine candidates against pathogenic Neisseriae
Manuel Krone
Changes in the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany
Markus Knuf
Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) immune response of a novel tetanus toxoid conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACYW-TT) compared to a quadrivalent (MCV4-TT) or monovalent (MenC-TT) meningococcal vaccine in healthy meningococcal vaccine-naïve toddlers
Rose Bender
Modeling meningococcal A conjugate vaccine coverage in the meningitis belt from 2010 to 2019
Sarah Goffin
Evolution of the routine childhood meningococcal immunisation schedule in the UK and Ireland and its impact on clinical burden of invasive meningococcal disease
Sarah Goffin
Evolution of the UK School-Age Vaccination Programme
Sara Katz
Natural Immunity in the African Meningitis Belt to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X: A Seroprevalence Study
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Claire Donovan
Rebuilding Futures after Meningitis
Rodolfo Villena
Sequelae at hospital discharge in 49 children with invasive meningococcal disease. Chile, 2009-2019
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Margaret Varga
Interactive Web-based Visual Exploration of Invasive Meningococcal Disease
Odile B Harrison
MEVacP: a public engagement website about meningitis and vaccine policy
Sarah Goffin
Misconceptions around Invasive Meningococcal Disease and Meningococcal Vaccines
Day 1: Monday 1st November
A.

Impact of meningitis, patient experience and support and aftercare

Chair: Dr Senjuti Saha, Child Health Research Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dr Senjuti SahaSenjuti Saha is a molecular biologist based in Bangladesh. She is a Scientist and Director at the Child Health Research Foundation, where she works at the intersection of microbiology and public health. After completing her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto in Canada, where she focused on developing novel alternatives to antimicrobials, she moved to Bangladesh to work in the front lines of public health.

Currently, she focuses on preventable pediatric infectious diseases, with the goals of (1) using modern molecular technologies including on-site metagenomics to identify etiologies that evade standard laboratory testing in resource-constrained settings, (2) establishing genomic surveillance to track and understand the molecular basis of antimicrobial resistance in endemic bacterial pathogens and (3) estimating the indirect impacts of vaccines on the overall health system of resource-constrained settings.

Currently, she also leads a large study on tracking SARS-COV-2 variants in Bangladesh and understanding the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19 on Bangladeshi children. Her work is grounded in advancing health and research equity in Bangladesh, and beyond. She is a member of the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, an Associate Editor of British Medical Journal Global Health, and a Section Editor of PLOS Global Public Health.


Patient experience of meningitis and septicaemia in high and low to middle income regions

Jo Kirwin
UK member of Meningitis Research Foundation

Jo KirwinJo is so many things that she finds it hard to describe herself in just a few words. Some of her labels include Mother of 3, special Mum, wife, biologist, eco-worrier, yoga teacher and writer.

The “Special Mum” is the most relevant here and this covers everything from carer, nurse, physio, and advocate to pushy, anxious parent. Being a special mum becomes all consuming, but she managed to retain a few elements of herself, including her obsession with horses and love of a good book. Her garden doesn’t look bad either

 

Adelaide Bortier
Ghana

Adelaide BortierAdelaide Naa Borley Bortier is a 26 year old Ghanaian musician with the stage name Adelaide the Seer. She is an inspirational speaker and advocate for cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM) and Persons Living with Disabilities.
Having lived a normal life for 17 years, Adelaide was diagnosed with CSM with complications of which the major was the loss of sight. Living with the impact of CSM has been a difficult and discomforting as it has altered her life in many respects including needing assistance in nearly everything she does. In spite of this, Adelaide puts up a strong spirit through her faith in God and support from family to face each day and overcome her fears and anxieties.

Rising above the challenge, she built a strong character by dedicating her life to a music career and now working a new gospel single. She is also committed to supporting people affected by CSM through her inspirational speeches and song ministrations. Adelaide is partnering organisations, institutions and other people to help bring hope to many more people beyond the shores of Ghana.


Long-term impact of meningitis– what is known now and the research challenge for the Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Roadmap

Dr. Nicoline Schiess
World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr Nicoline SchiessDr. Nicoline Schiess is an adult neurologist and technical officer working in the Brain Health Unit in the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at the World Health Organization. In this role Dr. Schiess serves as the liaison between WHO and various neurological associations as well as assisting in the development of the Intersectoral global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders, a global plan of action for neurological disorders. Prior to WHO she worked at Johns Hopkins University specializing in neuroimmunology/neuroinfectious diseases and global neurology.


What follow up care after meningitis is expected, provided, and needed in high and low to middle income settings?

Professor Charles Newton
KEMRI Wellcome Trust

Dr Nicoline SchiessCharles Newton was born in Kenya, qualified in Cape Town, South Africa, with postgraduate training in Paediatrics in Manchester and London, United Kingdom. As a lecturer at University of Oxford, he returned to Kilifi Kenya in 1989, to help set up a unit to study severe malaria in African children. Thereafter he spent 2 years as a Post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins, USA; studying mechanisms of brain damage in central nervous system infections. He completed his training in Paediatric Neurology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Queens Square in London, UK.

In 1998 he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship at University College London, to return to Kilifi, to study central nervous system (CNS) infections in children. He conducts research on CNS infections in children; epidemiological studies of epilepsy and neurological impairment; tetanus, jaundice and sepsis in neonates. In 2011 he took up a professorship in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford to concentrate of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Epilepsy and mental illness disorders after CNS infections in Africa.


WHO Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 and allied initiatives

Chair: Professor James Stuart
WHO and University of Bristol

Professor James StuartProfessor James Stuart is an honorary professor in population health sciences at the University of Bristol and is a consultant for WHO. After qualifying in medicine, James worked for ten years as a clinical doctor in the UK and rural South Africa before specialising in public health and epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly meningococcal meningitis. He has been involved in the investigation and control of outbreaks internationally and has published extensively on the epidemiology of meningococcal disease and carriage. James has worked for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a major research project into meningococcal carriage during the introduction of a serogroup A conjugate vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa. In more recent years he has been working for WHO, co-ordinating revision of outbreak response guidelines for the meningitis belt and helping to develop and start implementation of the WHO roadmap on “Defeating Meningitis by 2030”. He chairs the MRF Scientific Advisory Panel.


Implementing the Global Roadmap – how are we going to do it (including the research priorities within the global roadmap: what this means for the research community)

Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi
WHO

Dr Marie-Pierre Preziosi, WHOMarie-Pierre Preziosi is a medical officer, team lead Meningitis, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals and co-lead R&D Blueprint for action to prevent epidemics, Universal Health Coverage Life Course, World Health Organization.

From 2012-2014, she was director of the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between WHO and PATH. The project mission was to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of meningococcal conjugate vaccines. A project member since 2003, Dr Preziosi previously served as the director of clinical development. While leading the clinical research strategy and implementation, she helped build strong relationships between partner organizations and contributed technical advice on vaccine introduction activities and research to define evidence-based policy for optimal vaccine use. She previously conducted research on pertussis vaccination, as a visiting assistant professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, USA, and also for several years at the Institute for Research and Development in Senegal where she conducted pertussis vaccine trials. Her interest in vaccines started with Hib vaccine studies at Pasteur Mérieux. She received her medical degree from the Lyon University and her PhD in epidemiology from the Bordeaux University, France. She trained in tropical medicine at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and in field epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA.


Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 – Strategic Framework

Professor Nelesh Govender
National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), Johannesburg

Professor Nelesh GovenderNelesh Govender trained as a pathologist and epidemiologist. He heads the Centre for Healthcare-Associated Infections, Antimicrobial Resistance and Mycoses at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa. He is a Professor in the School of Pathology at the University of the Witwatersrand and Honorary Professor at the University of Exeter and the University of Cape Town. He was involved in conceptualising and drafting the Ending Cryptococcal Meningitis Deaths by 2030 strategic framework.


Defeating Paediatric Tuberculous Meningitis: Applying the WHO “Defeating Meningitis by 2030: Global Roadmap”

Dr Robin Basu Roy
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Dr Robin Basu RoyDr Robin Basu Roy is part of the SURE study team – an ongoing randomised controlled trial of 6 months intensified anti-tuberculosis and 2 months anti-inflammatory treatment for HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected African and Asian children with tuberculous meningitis. The trial is coordinated by the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL with collaborators in India, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is also involved in ptbnet’s (Pediatric TB network European Trials Group) retrospective multicentre tuberculous meningitis studies.

Previously, Robin worked as a Clinical Lecturer in Paediatrics at the University of Oxford for two years with Professor Andrew Pollard. His Imperial College PhD research was into paediatric immunity to M. tuberculosis infection using epidemiological, functional, cellular and molecular techniques to explore protection against tuberculosis. This was under the supervision of Professor Beate Kampmann and conducted at MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. He spent six months with Prof. Eric Rubin at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2010-11. He trained at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and has a Masters of Education Degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education.


Lessons and impact for meningitis in the COVID-19 era

Chair and Moderator: Professor Adam Finn, University of Bristol

Professor Adam FinnAdam Finn is Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Bristol. He obtained his medical degree at Oxford University, UK in 1983, trained in paediatrics in the UK, paediatric infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA and in paediatric immunology at the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond St. Hospital, London, UK. He was a senior lecturer in Sheffield UK for 10 years before moving to Bristol in 2001.
Currently he chairs the WHO European Technical Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation and is a member of the UK Dept Health Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation.

His research focusses on paediatric vaccines, how they work and, in particular, how universal immunisation programmes impact on transmission of infection at the population level.
Most recently, he took on the role of leading the Bristol COVID Emergency Research Group (UNCOVER) – a group of researchers united in their efforts to understand and combat the many health and societal challenges raised by COVID-19. Bristol UNCOVER includes clinicians, immunologists, virologists, synthetic biologists, aerosol scientists, epidemiologists and mathematical modellers and has links to behavioural and social scientists, ethicists and lawyers.


PANEL DISCUSSION - Will meningitis rebound as COVID restrictions end? What needs to happen next?

Panellists from around the world will take part in a discussion contrasting models predicting a prolonged herd protection effect from social distancing vs the immunity gap due to reduced immunisation and reduced natural acquisition/ boosting of immunity.

  • Findings from the IRIS initiative, with a focus on Brazil, and commenting on the situation in Latin America - Professor Marco Safadi, Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, Brazil
  • African perspective on COVID impact - Professor Shabir Madhi, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • Models of COVID impact on meningitis infections - Dr Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge:
    • The relative predicted effect of social distancing on carriage vs lower vaccine coverage on IMD and IPD in the UK, and
    • The potential impact of MenAfriVac disruption on meningococcal A infection
  • The immunity gap in childhood due to the COVID-19 pandemic - Professor Muhamed-Kheir Taha, Institut Pasteur, Paris

Audience voting at the beginning and end on whether meningitis infections will rebound as Covid restrictions end

Professor Marco Safadi
Professor Marco SafadiSanta Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, Brazil

Marco is the Head of Paediatrics and Associate Professor at Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences. An infectious diseases specialist, Marco is an active member of the Advisory Board on Immunization Practices in Brazil. His research is focused on the epidemiology and prevention of community-acquired infections.

 

Professor Shabir Madhi
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Professor Shabir MadhiShabir A. Madhi, M.B.B.C.H. (Wits), FCPaeds(SA), Ph.D.
Shabir Madhi is the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He also holds the position of Director of the South African Medical Research Council Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Analytics Research Unit (VIDA) and is co-Director of the African Leadership Initiative for Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE). He has in the past led studies on pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and rotavirus vaccine in Africa, which informed WHO recommendations on the use of these vaccines in low and middle income settings. He has led studies on the clinical development of vaccines for pregnant women aimed at protection of mother-infant dyads. Recently he led the first two COVID-19 vaccine studies being undertaken in Africa, and has been involved in multiple epidemiological studies on Covid-19 in South Africa. He has co-authored more than 500 scientific manuscripts since 1997, mainly on vaccine preventable diseases.

Dr Caroline Trotter
University of Cambridge

Dr Caroline TrotterDr Caroline Trotter is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a particular interest in vaccine evaluation. She is based at the University of Cambridge and has an honorary position with Public Health England. Most of her research is on bacterial meningitis, and in particular meningococcal disease. She uses a variety of methods, including observational studies, mathematical modelling and cost-effectiveness analyses and enjoys addressing questions of direct relevance to vaccine and public health policy. Caroline is also the Director of the Cambridge-Africa Programme, a University wide initiative to connect researchers in Cambridge and Africa

 

Professor Muhamed-Kheir Taha
Institut Pasteur, Paris

Professor Muhamed-Kheir TahaMuhamed-Kheir Taha, MD, PhD, HDR is Professor at Institut Pasteur in Paris France, Invasive bacterial infection Unit,
Head of the Unit Invasive bacterial infections, the French National Reference Centre for Meningococci and Haemophilus influenzae,
and the WHO collaborating centre for meningitis, and is the current President of The European Meningococcal and Haemophilus
Disease Society (EMGM). Prof Taha’s research works focus on the molecular pathogenesis of Neisseria meningitidis and
Haemophilus influenzae as well as on the molecular epidemiology of meningococcal and H. influenzae infections.

 


Using COVID vaccine technology to make faster, cheaper meningitis vaccines, and regulatory lessons from COVID

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard
University of Oxford

Professor Sir Andrew PollardProfessor Sir Andrew Pollard FMedSci
Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity
Professor Pollard is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford and an honorary consultant paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital, where he led the paediatric infectious disease clinical service 2001-2021. He was Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Paediatrics 2012-2020 and Vice-Master of St Cross College, Oxford, 2017-2021, and remains a Fellow of the College. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Public Health, especially in the pandemic.

Professor Pollard obtained his medical degree at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, in 1989 and trained in Paediatrics at Birmingham Children’s Hospital specialising in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Mary’s Hospital, London, and at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada. He obtained his PhD at St Mary’s Hospital in 1999 studying immunity to Neisseria meningitidis in children and proceeded to work on anti-bacterial innate immune responses in children in Canada before returning to his current position at the University of Oxford in 2001. He chaired the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) meningitis guidelines development group (2006-2010), the NICE topic expert group developing quality standards for management of meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia (2011-2013). He has been a member of the British Commission on Human Medicines' Clinical Trials, Biologicals and Vaccines expert advisory group since 2013.
His research includes the design, development and clinical evaluation of vaccines including those for typhoid, meningococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus, plague, pertussis, influenza, rabies, coronavirus and Ebola, and leads studies using a human challenge model of paratyphoid and typhoid. He runs surveillance for invasive bacterial diseases and studies the impact of pneumococcal vaccines in children in Nepal and leads a project on burden and transmission of typhoid in Nepal, Bangladesh and Malawi, and co-leads typhoid vaccine impact studies at these sites. He was the chief investigator for the clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in 2020 in 24,000 participants in UK, South Africa and Brazil, which led to authorisation of the vaccine for use in more than 170 countries with over 550million doses distributed by July 2021. He has supervised 37 PhD students and his publications includes over 500 manuscripts and books on various topics in paediatrics and infectious diseases. He chairs the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is a member of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, and chaired the European Medicines Agency scientific advisory group on vaccines (2012–2020). He previously chaired the scientific panel of the Spencer Dayman Meningitis Laboratories Charitable Trust (2002-2006) and was a member of the scientific committee of the Meningitis Research Foundation (2009-2014) and is currently chair of trustees of the Knoop Trust and a trustee of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation. He received the “Science Honor and Truth Award” of the Instituto de Patologia en la Altura in La Paz, Bolivia in 2002, the Bill Marshall Award of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease (ESPID) in 2013, the ESPID Distinguished Award for Education and Communication in 2015 and the Rosén von Rosenstein medal in 2019 awarded by the Swedish Paediatric Society and the Swedish Society of Medicine. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016 and is an NIHR Senior Investigator. He received the Oxford University Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Award in 2020 for his work on typhoid vaccines.
He made the first British ascent of Jaonli (6632m) in 1988 and Chamlang in 1991 (7309m) and was the Deputy leader of the successful 1994 British Medical Everest Expedition.

DAY 2: Tuesday 2nd November
A.

Improving data for meningitis: recognition, diagnosis and surveillance - closing the ascertainment gap between people affected and laboratory surveillance

Chair: Dr Anne von Gottberg, NICD, Johannesburg

Dr Anne von GottbergAnne von Gottberg is currently the laboratory lead for the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa and Associate Professor within the School of Pathology, Faculty of the Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; and Honorary Professor, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town. She leads a laboratory team responsible for reference diagnostics for respiratory and meningeal pathogens nationally and regionally. The laboratory is the regional reference laboratory for the World Health Organization (WHO) Vaccine-preventable Invasive Bacterial Diseases (VP-IBD) Coordinated Global Surveillance Network for the southern African region; a National Influenza Centre (NIC); and a WHO RSV and SARS-CoV-2 Reference Laboratory. Her main interests include surveillance for meningitis and respiratory pathogens, assessing vaccine effectiveness where relevant. She has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals. In addition, she supervises a number of Masters and PhD students. Dr von Gottberg obtained her MBBCh and PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand, and trained for her specialisation in clinical microbiology (FC Path[SA] MICRO) at the National Health Laboratory Service (former South African Institute for Medical Research) and at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Advocacy and awareness raising activity and the WHO Defeating Meningitis by 2030 Roadmap

Rob Dawson
Meningitis Research Foundation

Rob DawsonRob Dawson is a strategic communications director with experience in health and science across industry, public sector and not-for-profits.

He is former Director of Communications, Advocacy and Support at Meningitis Research Foundation, Chair of the STEM PR Association, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) member and has also guest-lectured at Cambridge and Kent Universities.

He has led teams to win several awards for meningitis advocacy and communications activities, including Third Sector Award 2018 Communications Campaign of the Year, for Meningitis Research Foundation’s adolescent vaccine campaign, and Communique Charitable Campaign of the Year 2021, for supporting the development of the Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis.


Since the recording of this presentation at our November 2021 conference, it is with great sadness that we let you know of the death of our friend and former colleague Rob Dawson, who for over 5 years was the Director of Advocacy, Communications and Support at Meningitis Research Foundation, achieving enormous amounts in his time with us.


Challenges and possible solutions to improving laboratory confirmation of bacterial meningitis

Dr André Bita
WHO

Dr Andre Arsene Bita FoudaDr Andre Arsene Bita Fouda is WHO Regional meningitis control officer, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. In this role, Dr Bita’s responsibilities include: providing technical support and guidance to African Countries on Meningococcal vaccines for prevention and reactive vaccination mass campaigns and introduction into routine immunization; monitoring progress on introduction of MenAfriVac in the African meningitis belt countries; providing technical support and guidance to African countries on surveillance, data management and care of patents with sequelae, case management, preparation and response to meningitis epidemics; and developing regional guidelines on meningitis control. With regards to COVID-19, Dr Bita is a member of the Programme, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting cell in WHO regional office. Prior to this, he was a WHO Consultant on the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP) 2014-2017; Regional meningitis control officer (2018-2021). Dr Bita has authored 63 publications in 17 peer review journals and co-authored four guidelines: Immunization, surveillance and response to outbreaks (meningitis, measles, cholera, COVID-19); HIV/AIDS; health economics; occupational Medicine.


Developing and deploying RDTs for the main meningitis pathogens: where we are now and what’s happening next

Dr Xin Wang
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Xin WangDr. Xin Wang earned her PhD from Emory University Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Currently, Dr. Wang is the chief of Bacterial Meningitis Laboratory within Meningitis and Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch at CDC and the Director of WHO Collaborating Center for Meningitis. In this role, Dr. Wang is responsible for establishing team goals and priorities, developing strategic plans to support public health priorities, leading studies and activities to bridge knowledge gaps, and providing technical expertise to support meningitis surveillance and outbreak response domestically and internationally. Over the course of more than 14 years at CDC, Dr. Wang has led a number of projects to advance the understanding of meningococcal disease/carriage, improve laboratory and informatics methods for disease surveillance, monitor genomic epidemiology and antibiotic resistance trends, and evaluate vaccine antigens for strain coverage. She has authored or co-authored more than 120 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, Dr. Wang has led laboratory building capacities in a number of countries in Africa and Asia, including providing national and regional trainings, developing standardized training programs, as well as serving on workgroups and steering committees to provide technical consultation. She has won more than 30 CDC and NCIRD honor awards in recognition of her leadership and scientific contributions.

 


Distinguishing bacterial infections using a host signature: PERFORM- DIAMONDS studies

Dr Jethro Herberg
Imperial College London

Dr Jethro HerbergDr Jethro Herberg is a Reader in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, and honorary consultant at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and the Royal Brompton Hospital. After studying Biochemistry at Oxford and a human immunogenetics PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, he trained in medicine at University College London. He has worked at Imperial College since 2008.

His research focuses on the discovery and clinical translation of host diagnostic biomarkers for children with infectious and inflammatory conditions. Current projects include DIAMONDS (www.diamonds2020.eu), a large international study of febrile children that is developing and piloting the use of novel technology platforms that use host transcript-based tests for multi-class diagnosis of infectious and inflammatory conditions. His specialist clinical interests include the investigation of genetic predisposition in children with severe infection, and Kawasaki disease.


Discriminatory host transcripts in the blood of adults with bacterial meningitis: TRIM study

Dr Mike Griffiths
University of Liverpool

Dr Mike GriffithsI am a Reader and Paediatric Neurology consultant in the Department of Clinical Infection, Microbiology and Immunology at the Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences at the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Trust.

My team's main aim is to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of infection, with a focus on brain infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis and neurosurgical-infection.
My research Interests lie on the host responses to severe infection, particularly neurological insults. We use a variety of approaches, including transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to explore these responses.
I am PI for the several UK and international studies, including TRIM (TRanscripts Identifying Meningitis) and DIME (Diagnostic Improvement for Meningo-encephalitis) studies.

Mike is also diagnostic lead, for several studies improving management of brain infections in the UK and overseas. Studies include sites across UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Indonesia, Malawi, India and Brazil.
I work with various 3rd sector organisations, including NICE, WHO, PATH and Industry, as well as being Chair of Education, Quality and Standards for the British Paediatric Neurology Association (BPNA) in UK and Ireland.
Funding sources for the work include the MRC, Newton fund, Wellcome Trust, EU Horizon 2020 and NIHR. I previously trained in Oxford, Kenya (Kilifi) and Stanford (USA) as well as multiple UK hospitals, and I maintain collaborations with these Institutes.

Publications include the Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Lancet Neurology and Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.


Genomics: the frontier of learning

Chair: Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust/LSHTM

Ifedayo M. O AdetifaIfedayo M. O Adetifa MBBS, FWACP (Paed), MSc PhD, is the 2nd Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). He is a paediatrician and epidemiologist, with almost two decades of working experience in general paediatrics, paediatrics infectious diseases and infectious disease epidemiology. His work to date has covered the areas of paediatrics HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis epidemiology and the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases. In the last seven years, he has focused on vaccine epidemiology research with an overarching aim of generating evidence for vaccine policy in Africa through vaccine impact studies and seroepidemiology. He has also been involved in the COVID-19 response through his activities as a member of the Kenya SARS-CoV-2 Serology Consortium. As part of his activities in the vaccine policy arena, he is a member of the World Health Organisation, Africa Region’s (WHO-AFRO) Regional Immunisation Technical Advisory Group, the WHO Respiratory Syncytial Virus Technical Advisory Group, and the Programme Advisory Group for the Malaria Vaccine Implementation Programme. Members of the Kenya SARS-CoV-2 Serology Consortium

Until his current appointment as the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, he was an Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom, and Clinical Epidemiologist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI)- Wellcome Trust Research Programme (KWTRP) in Kilifi, Kenya from 2014 to date. And prior to this he was a Clinical Epidemiologist at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia.

Dr Ifedayo Adetifa received his undergraduate medical qualification from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, studied for his Masters in Epidemiology at the London Shool of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and received his PhD also in Epidemiology from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He completed clinical specialty training at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos for which he was awarded the Fellowship of the West African College of Physicians in Paediatrics.


Pneumococcal genomics, vaccines and AMR

Dr William Hanage
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Bill HanageDr. Bill Hanage is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. His research and teaching focus on the epidemiology of infectious disease and the evolution of infectious agents. He received his PhD from Imperial College London. He joined the faculty at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in 2010. He has made seminal contributions to the study of diverse pathogens, both bacteria and viruses, and has a special interest in evolution in response to interventions such as vaccination or antimicrobials, using laboratory based and computational methods. His awards include the Fleming Prize from the Microbiology Society and a young investigator award from the American Society for Microbiology. He has published more than scientific 160 articles and book chapters and is a regular contributor to popular media aiming to improve public understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Hypervirulence and Group B Streptococcal Infection

Dr Odile Harrison
University of Oxford

Odile HarrisonOdile Harrison PhD, has been studying infectious diseases and the evolution of bacterial pathogens for over 10 years. After graduating with a Microbiology degree from University College London, she pursued a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at Imperial College London, where in vivo gene expression of the human bacterial pathogen Neisseria meningitidis was investigated. After this, she obtained a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship and worked at Sanofi Pasteur in Lyon, France where she researched the diversity of iron acquisition proteins in Neisseria species. At the University of Oxford, Odile has pursued her interest in the population biology of Neisseria including the analysis of whole-genome sequence (WGS) data. More recently, her work has expanded to the analysis of WGS data from other encapsulated bacteria and sexually-transmitted bacterial infections. Odile is an associate editor of the Journal of Infection and is a fellow of the Higher Education academy


How this will be made accessible through the Global Meningitis Genome Partnership

Professor Robert Heyderman
University College London

Rob HeydermanRob Heyderman is a clinician scientist with skills and experience that bridge clinical practice, disease prevention and the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of infectious disease. He directed the highly successful Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Programme (MLW) for over 8 years, transforming the Programme into a centre of excellence led by Malawian & international scientists, pursuing internationally-leading science, research training & improving the health of people in sub-Saharan Africa. At UCL, he has established a Mucosal Pathogens Research Group which focuses on the microbial and immunological basis of severe infection caused by bacterial and viral mucosal pathogens in the UK and Africa, and their prevention through vaccination. His population-based studies of vaccine-preventable disease in Africa have led to national vaccine implementation, vaccine evaluation and large-scale studies of modified vaccine schedules. Working with WHO AFRO, he is leading the evaluation of COVID19 vaccines in vulnerable adults. He is a member of several guideline committees for the diagnosis & management of meningitis and meningogoccal sepsis. He is a member of the task force for WHO Road Map for Defeating Meningitis. He chairs the Global Meningitis Genome Partnership.

 


Poster Presentations - three parallel sessions

Track 1: Prevention – Chair: Professor Paul Heath, St George’s University of London

Identification of Neisseria meningitidis specific patient derived antibodies using reverse vaccinology 2.0 - Camilla Gladstone, Imperial College London

Changes in the epidemiology of invasive meningococcal diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany- Dr Manuel Krone, Wuerzburg University Hospital and German National Reference Laboratory for Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae

Natural Immunity in the African Meningitis Belt to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X: A Seroprevalence Study – Sara Katz, UK Health Security Agency

Neisseria lactamica induces anti-Neisseria meningitidis B cell responses- Dr Adam Dale, University of Southampton

Immunogenicity of a Single 4CMenB Vaccine Booster in Adolescents 11 Years After Childhood Immunisation - Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, University of Oxford

Camilla Gladstone
Imperial College London

Camilla GladstoneMillie is a final year PhD student at Imperial College London in the Department of Infectious Disease. She graduated from Exeter University in 2016 with a BSc in Biological Sciences (Microbiology and Infectious Disease) before completing an MSc in Medical Microbiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017. Her PhD incorporates immunology, molecular biology and microbiology to improve vaccines against meningococcal meningitis.
Millie uses a technique called Reverse Vaccinology 2.0 to find meningococcal vaccine antigens. This technique clones antibodies against meningococci from patient blood samples, before identifying the target antigen on the bacteria. This target could be included in a future vaccine against meningococci, preventing meningococcal infections.
Outside of work Millie enjoys sports, including playing netball for Imperial, and is a keen amateur baker!

 

Dr Manuel Krone
Wuerzburg University Hospital and German National Reference Laboratory for Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae

Dr Manuel KroneDr Manuel Krone is Deputy Head of the Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship Unit at Wuerzburg University Hospital, Germany, and works at the German National Reference Laboratory for Meningococci and Haemophilus Influenzae.
Prior to this, he trained in clinical microbiology at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany. Dr. Krone's principal areas of research relate to the epidemiology and prevention of airborne diseases with focus on Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae and SARS-CoV-2.
He is currently the chief investigator of the 'CoVacSer' study to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 infections and immunizations on health-related quality of life and fitness for work in healthcare workers. Other projects include recurring invasive meningococcal disease and the impact of Haemophilus influenzae colonization on pregnancy outcome.

 

Sara Katz
UK Health Security Agency

Sara KatzSara Katz is a Healthcare Scientist at the Vaccine Evaluation Unit at the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England), Manchester, UK, where she and her team evaluate serological responses to meningococcal vaccines.
She completed a BSc in Healthcare Science at the University of Central Lancashire and qualified as a HCPC registered biomedical scientist in 2017. She has recently finished study on a MRes in Healthcare Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her masters project focused on seroprevalence of N. meningitidis serogroup X within the African meningitis belt, and validation of a serogroup X Serum Bactericidal Antibody assay for use in clinical trials.

 

Dr Adam Dale
University of Southampton

Adam DaleAdam Dale is a NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton, and honorary registrar in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at University Hospital Southampton. He works in the research group of Professor Robert Read in close collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Facility at University Hospital Southampton and the Southampton NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. During his Wellcome Trust-funded PhD Research Training Fellowship, Adam studied the adaptive cellular immune responses generated following pharyngeal colonisation with wild-type and genetically modified strains of Neisseria lactamica. Adam is currently utilising N. lactamica and Bordetella pertussis controlled human infection models to better understand the factors affecting bacterial colonisation and the interaction of colonising bacteria with the human immune system.

 

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard
University of Oxford

Professor Sir Andrew PollardProfessor Sir Andrew Pollard FMedSci
Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity
Professor Pollard is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford and an honorary consultant paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital, where he led the paediatric infectious disease clinical service 2001-2021. He was Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Paediatrics 2012-2020 and Vice-Master of St Cross College, Oxford, 2017-2021, and remains a Fellow of the College. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Public Health, especially in the pandemic.

Professor Pollard obtained his medical degree at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, University of London, in 1989 and trained in Paediatrics at Birmingham Children’s Hospital specialising in Paediatric Infectious Diseases at St Mary’s Hospital, London, and at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, Canada. He obtained his PhD at St Mary’s Hospital in 1999 studying immunity to Neisseria meningitidis in children and proceeded to work on anti-bacterial innate immune responses in children in Canada before returning to his current position at the University of Oxford in 2001. He chaired the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) meningitis guidelines development group (2006-2010), the NICE topic expert group developing quality standards for management of meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia (2011-2013). He has been a member of the British Commission on Human Medicines' Clinical Trials, Biologicals and Vaccines expert advisory group since 2013.
His research includes the design, development and clinical evaluation of vaccines including those for typhoid, meningococcus, Haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus, plague, pertussis, influenza, rabies, coronavirus and Ebola, and leads studies using a human challenge model of paratyphoid and typhoid. He runs surveillance for invasive bacterial diseases and studies the impact of pneumococcal vaccines in children in Nepal and leads a project on burden and transmission of typhoid in Nepal, Bangladesh and Malawi, and co-leads typhoid vaccine impact studies at these sites. He was the chief investigator for the clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in 2020 in 24,000 participants in UK, South Africa and Brazil, which led to authorisation of the vaccine for use in more than 170 countries with over 550million doses distributed by July 2021. He has supervised 37 PhD students and his publications includes over 500 manuscripts and books on various topics in paediatrics and infectious diseases. He chairs the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, is a member of WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts, and chaired the European Medicines Agency scientific advisory group on vaccines (2012–2020). He previously chaired the scientific panel of the Spencer Dayman Meningitis Laboratories Charitable Trust (2002-2006) and was a member of the scientific committee of the Meningitis Research Foundation (2009-2014) and is currently chair of trustees of the Knoop Trust and a trustee of the Jenner Vaccine Foundation. He received the “Science Honor and Truth Award” of the Instituto de Patologia en la Altura in La Paz, Bolivia in 2002, the Bill Marshall Award of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease (ESPID) in 2013, the ESPID Distinguished Award for Education and Communication in 2015 and the Rosén von Rosenstein medal in 2019 awarded by the Swedish Paediatric Society and the Swedish Society of Medicine. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016 and is an NIHR Senior Investigator. He received the Oxford University Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Award in 2020 for his work on typhoid vaccines.
He made the first British ascent of Jaonli (6632m) in 1988 and Chamlang in 1991 (7309m) and was the Deputy leader of the successful 1994 British Medical Everest Expedition.

 


Track 2: Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment – Chair: Dr Anne von Gottberg, NICD, Johannesburg

Transcriptome analysis of CSF from meningitis patients identifies a novel Streptococcus pneumoniae operon that is essential for establishing brain infection – Dr Emma Wall, UCL

Modelling meningococcal A conjugate vaccine coverage in the meningitis belt from 2010 to 2019 - Rose Bender, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington

Phase 3 Trial of Safety, Tolerability and Immunogenicity of V114, 15-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Compared with 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Adults 50 Years of Age and Older (PNEU-AGE) – Andrew Tran, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

In silico evaluation of current PCR diagnostic targets for the molecular detection of bacterial meningitis – Dr Kanny Diallo, Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique de Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan

Meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) immune response of a novel tetanus toxoid conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MenACYW-TT) compared to a quadrivalent (MCV4-TT) or monovalent (MenC-TT) meningococcal vaccine in healthy meningococcal vaccine-naïve toddlers - Professor Markus Knuf, Children’s hospital, HSK, Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany

Dr Emma Wall
UCL

Emma WallEmma is currently a senior clinical research fellow at the Francis Crick Institute and UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, she is an honorary consultant in Infectious Diseases at UCLH. She graduated from the University of Bristol and undertook higher specialist training in infection and internal medicine in North West London. Emma did her PhD at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme in Malawi, studying clinical management and epidemiology of bacterial meningitis in Malawian adults. Her primary research interest is invasive infection in HIV infected adults in low and middle income settings, with a particular focus on improving clinical outcomes from infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae. More recently she has focussed on evaluation of Covid-19 vaccine responses in healthy adults.

Rose Bender
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington

Rose BenderRose Bender, B.S., is a Post-Bachelor Fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). She works on the Global Burden of Disease Study as a disease modeler for meningitis and other select infectious diseases. She is also studying towards her Masters in Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, IHME’s home institution, with expected graduation in spring 2022. Her Masters capstone project presented at this conference, advised by Dr. Hmwe Kyu and Dr. Jonathan Mosser, models vaccination coverage for MenAfriVac in the countries of the meningitis belt.

Andrew Tran
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

Andrew TranMr Andrew Tran is a Pharmacist and Pneumococcal Vaccine Medical Advisor in the UK subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD). At the MRF Conference he will be presenting data for MSD’s pipeline pneumococcal conjugate vaccine with permission and on behalf of the authors of each poster. MSD has a long legacy in vaccines and recently efforts in the UK have been focussed towards ensuring improved access for routine immunisation, particularly those most at-risk of vaccine-preventable diseases by working with all stakeholders from Government to charities and patient organisations.

Dr Kanny Diallo
Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique de Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan

Kanny DialloKanny Diallo, Centre Suisse de Recherche Scientifique (CSRS), Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
I obtained my BSc. and MSc. in biochemistry at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). I am a former Wellcome Trust Training Fellow which I used to pursue my DPhil at the University of Oxford where I studied the ecology and molecular epidemiology of Neisseria species in the African Meningitis Belt.

I worked at the Centre for Vaccine Development in Mali for 5 years and was a post doctoral research fellow for 1.5 year at the bacteriology department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, where I worked on an oropharyngeal microbiome pilot study. I was awarded a CRICK African Network Fellowship and moved to CSRS as an Associated Post-Doctoral Fellow to continue my research on the link between the oropharyngeal microbiome and invasive bacterial diseases with the overall goal being to understand the environmental and genetic factors that influence the onset of bacterial meningitis to better predict and eventually prevent epidemics.
I also have a particular interest in the development of molecular diagnosis tools adapted to our African setting and capable of improving our infectious diseases surveillance systems.
I have recently accepted a part-time administrative position as head of the capacity building and resource mobilisation unit at CSRS. The mandate of the unit is to provide support to researchers in their effort to secure research grants.

Professor Markus Knuf
Children’s hospital, HSK, Dr. Horst Schmidt Klinik, Wiesbaden, Germany

Dr Markus KnufDr Markus Knuf is currently Head of the Children’s Hospital in Worms, germany and also a Professor for Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Pediatric Intensive Care at the Department of Pediatrics at the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, in Germany. He holds subspecialities in neonatalogy, pediatric intensive care, neuropaediatrics and EEG. His interest in pediatric immunology, infectious diseases and vaccination, and neonatal neurology covers nearly 30 years, and his national and international original publications and presentations include specific topics in paediatric immunology, infectious diseases, and vaccination. Prof Dr Knuf has been actively involved in many different studies, the results of which have been published and were presented at a large number of national and international scientific meetings. He is a member of various scientific boards, of the German Society for Paediatrics, of the German Society for Paediatric Immunology, and board member of the German Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

 


Track 3: Surveillance, Support and Advocacy - Chair: Professor Beate Kampmann, LSHTM

Assessing 4CMenB strain coverage of invasive meningococcal strains in an English and Welsh vaccine-eligible cohort using non-culture draft genome sequences- Dr Stephen Clark, UK Health Security Agency

Changes in Pneumococcal Meningitis Incidence Following Introduction of PCV10 and PCV13: Results from the Global PSERENADE Project - Yangyupei Yang, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Rapid Transmission of a Hyper-Virulent Meningococcal Clone Due to High Effective Contact Numbers and Super Spreaders- Jonathan Holmes, University of Leicester

Sequelae at hospital discharge in 49 children with invasive meningococcal disease, Chile, 2009-2019 – Dr Rodolfo Villena, University of Chile

MEVacP : a public engagement website about meningitis and vaccine policy – Dr Odile Harrison, University of Oxford

Dr Stephen Clark
UK Health Security Agency

Dr Stephen ClarkDr Stephen Clark is a Senior Scientist at the UK Health Security Agency based at the Meningococcal Reference Unit (MRU) in Manchester, UK. Stephen received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences in 2008. In 2009, he joined the UKHSA Vaccine Evaluation Unit as part of the SBA team that generated immunogenicity data supporting the licensure of 4CMenB (Bexsero®).
In 2012, Stephen began a Pfizer-sponsored PhD programme focussed on looking at new ways of improving strain coverage estimates of protein-based meningococcal vaccines. This included the development of a PCR-sequencing assay to type Factor H-Binding Protein (fHbp) directly from clinical specimens and a pilot study looking at the use of the Agilent SureSelect system for whole genome sequencing of meningococcal DNA directly from clinical specimens. Stephen also oversaw the transfer of the Pfizer-developed Meningococcal Antigen Surface Expression (MEASURE) assay into the MRU. He received his PhD in 2018.
Stephen transferred into the MRU in 2017, and now oversees meningococcal typing from clinical specimens, which is important for comprehensive national meningococcal surveillance as well as informing public health responses to outbreaks. He is involved in coordinating screening of swabs for the national ‘Be on the Team’ carriage study, which aims to assess the impact of MenB vaccines on meningococcal carriage. Also, a large part of his work involves running the MEASURE assay, which is used to assess fHbp surface expression among strains of interest. More recently, he has been involved in a project to validate the use of dried blood and CSF spots for diagnosis of meningococcal disease as well as strain characterisation in lower-resource settings.

Yangyupei Yang
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Yangyupei YangYangyupei (Jade) is a Research Analyst in the International Vaccine Access Center, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She works on several projects, including the Pneumococcal Serotype Replacement and Distribution Estimation (PSERENADE) Project, a global analysis of the impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines on invasive pneumococcal disease in all ages, including indirect effects in adults. Jade received her MHS in Infectious Disease Epidemiology with certificates in Vaccine Science and Policy, and Clinical Trial from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her BS in Public Health and General Biology from the University of Washington.

Her research interests include using a variety of epidemiology methods, mathematical modeling, and cost-effectiveness analyses to address research questions related to vaccine, infectious disease surveillance, and public health policy.

 

Jonathan Holmes
University of Leicester

Jonathan HolmesMy name is Jonathan Holmes, I am currently studying for a PhD in the department of genes and genome biology at the University of Leicester in Professor Christopher Bayliss’s research group which focuses on the role of hypermutable DNA sequences in Neisseria meningitidis and Campylobacter jejuni. My research interests predominantly lay in the role of hypermutable tracts present in phase variable loci and how these switching events aid bacterial survivability through direct experimentation and computation modelling. My area of experience in bioinformatics and computer scripting also allows me to branch into areas of epidemiology and next generation sequencing projects.
I was born in Oxford in 1995 and lived briefly in Ontario Canada for several years before moving back to the UK to a village just outside of Northampton. I conducted my undergraduate degree at Nottingham Trent university in Microbiology and Biochemistry completed my dissertation in cytochrome P450 enzyme kinetics under Dr Aldo Gutierrez. Following this I decided to expand my field of knowledge and transitioned into Bioinformatics completing a master’s in molecular Genetics at the University of Leicester where I joined Professor Bayliss’s laboratory for my master’s project.
Concluding my master’s degree, I re-joined Professor Bayliss’s lab on a project aiming to test the efficacy of Meningococcal conjugate vaccines by studying the correlation of hypermutable tracts to gene expression. After a year in academic research, I was accepted onto PhD programme through the Midlands Integrated Bioscience Training Programme (MIBTP) where I have just completed my 2nd of 4 years.

Dr Rodolfo Villena
University of Chile

Rodolfo VillenaAs a Pediatric Infectious disease specialist and professor from the university, I have been involved in the immune preventable diseases fields through the active participation in several scientific societies meetings and conferences, advisories boards for public health institutions in latinoamerican countries, scientific societies and vaccines manufacturers, academic/scientific published manuscripts, and also in the study of vaccines and immunizations in different scientific protocols from phase I to phase IV as subinvestigator and principal investigator.

 

Dr Odile Harrison
University of Oxford

Odile HarrisonOdile Harrison PhD, has been studying infectious diseases and the evolution of bacterial pathogens for over 10 years. After graduating with a Microbiology degree from University College London, she pursued a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at Imperial College London, where in vivo gene expression of the human bacterial pathogen Neisseria meningitidis was investigated. After this, she obtained a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship and worked at Sanofi Pasteur in Lyon, France where she researched the diversity of iron acquisition proteins in Neisseria species. At the University of Oxford, Odile has pursued her interest in the population biology of Neisseria including the analysis of whole-genome sequence (WGS) data. More recently, her work has expanded to the analysis of WGS data from other encapsulated bacteria and sexually-transmitted bacterial infections. Odile is an associate editor of the Journal of Infection and is a fellow of the Higher Education academy.

DAY 3: Wednesday 3rd November
A.

Prevention and epidemic control (1)

Chair: Professor Ray Borrow, UK Health Security Agency, Vaccine Evaluation Unit

Professor Ray BorrowProf Ray Borrow is Head of the Vaccine Evaluation Unit at the UK Health Security Agency, Manchester, UK.

There he is responsible for the evaluation of serological responses to various bacterial and viral vaccines with a special interest in meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines. He is also the Deputy Head of the UKHSA Meningococcal Reference Unit for England & Wales.

Ray gained his PhD in 1994, his MRCPath in 2003, became an Honorary Professor of Vaccine Preventable Diseases at the University of Manchester in 2009 and Visiting Professor of the Manchester Metropolitan University in 2011. His scientific findings resulted in over 190 peer reviewed published papers. He serves as a member of the DHSC Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and frequently advises WHO and companies on both meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccines.


Real-world evidence of 4CMenB vaccine effectiveness against meningococcal B disease and gonorrhoea in adolescents

Professor Helen Marshall
University of Adelaide

Professor MarshallProfessor Marshall is a clinician researcher and National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellow with specialist training in child health, public health and vaccinology having completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Doctorate of Medicine, Master of Public Health and Diploma in Child Health and the Advanced Vaccinology Course at the Pasteur Merieux Institute, France. She holds the position Professor in Vaccinology in the Adelaide Medical School and is the Deputy Director of the Robinson Research Institute at The University of Adelaide, Senior Medical Practitioner and Director of the Vaccinology and Immunology Research Trials Unit, VIRTU, at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia.

She has been a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which advises the Federal Minister of Health on immunisation for the National Immunisation Program and is a member of the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia. Prof Marshall leads a program of research in clinical trials of investigational and licensed vaccines, epidemiology of infectious diseases and social epidemiology. Her main research interests are meningococcal disease and vaccines and maternal immunisation. She was the chief investigator of the “B Part Of It” study, assessing the effectiveness of 4CMenB vaccine on carriage and disease in adolescents in South Australia and is the lead investigator on the “B part of it NT study” in the Northern Territory, assessing the impact of 4CMenB on gonorrhoea. She has received >$33 million in research grants. Prof Marshall has published over 210 peer-reviewed papers in international high ranking journals including the NEJM. She has undertaken COVID vaccine trials and is a member of the COVAX Accelerator working group in maternal immunisation. In recognition of her research excellence she was awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council’s “10 of the Best” research projects nationally in 2016, the South Australia Science Award for Excellence in Research for the Public Good in 2011, the South Australian Science Award for Excellence in research collaboration and was awarded . She was the recipient of the Australia Day Council, Inspiring South Australian Women award in 2020.


PANEL DISCUSSION: Potential for adolescent MenB immunisation programmes to control meningococcal B infection and gonorrhoea.

Moderator: Associate Professor Matthew Snape, University of Oxford

  • Case for teenage MenB prevention - Professor Federico Martinón Torres, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

  • Case for gonococcal prevention - Professor Cal MacLennan, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Oxford and University of Birmingham

  • WHO perspective - Dr Sami Gottlieb, WHO

  • Health economics perspective - Dr Hannah Christensen, University of Bristol

  • Follow up/Q&A from preceding talk - Professor Helen Marshall, University of Adelaide

Including live discussion, audience Q&A

Audience voting at the beginning and the end on ‘Should we introduce Bexsero into teenage immunisation programmes now?’

Associate Professor Matthew Snape
University of Oxford

Matthew SnapeMatthew Snape, MBBS FRCPCH MD, is an Associate Professor in General Paediatrics and Vaccinology at the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Council. He is also a Jenner Investigator and an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Prof. Snape's principal areas of research relate to vaccines against meningococcal, pneumococcal, influenza, RSV and Ebola virus disease. He is the director of the NIHR funded National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium (NISEC), which has been responsible for delivery of multiple studies evaluating the use of mixed schedules of COVID-19 vaccine and the ‘What’s the STORY’ study evaluating rates of COVID-19 infection in children.

Professor Federico Martinón Torres
Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Federico Martinón-TorresFederico Martinón-Torres is pediatrician and clinical researcher, currently the coordinator and head of Pediatrics and Director of Translational Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases (Best ID Unit of Spain 2018, 2019 and 2020) at the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago (Spain), and Associate Professor in Pediatrics (University of Santiago). He currently serves the European Technical Advisory Group of Experts (ETAGE) of WHO Europe and coordinates the WHO collaborating centre for Vaccine Safety of Santiago de Compostela (Spain).

He graduated at the University of Santiago and completed his medical training at the Hope Children’s and at the Children’s Memorial Hospital of Chicago, before obtaining a PhD on the application of heliox in infants with bronchiolitis (national PhD prize). He has received 25+ prizes and awards to academic achievements, including Best National Graduate in Medicine and Surgery (1995) and Best National Resident of all sub-specialities (2000).

He has published over 300 articles with a cumulative impact factor > 2000 (JCR2020), 7 books and 130 book chapters. His main research interests are: vaccines, infectious diseases, bronchiolitis, meningococcal disease, pneumococcal disease and heliox. He has managed or directed as PI more than 40 competitive research projects, 100 phase 1 to 3 vaccine clinical trials, and 15 collaborative grants related to infectious diseases and genomics, including 2 FP7 (EUCLIDS and PREPARE), 4 H2020 (PoC-ID, ZIKAction, PERFORM and DIAMONDS) and 3 IMI-2 (RESCEU, C4C and PROMISE) projects. Member of 30+ consultative and expert advisory boards on meningococcal diseases, pneumococcus, RSV (ReSVinet), rotavirus and HPV, and 20+ professional/academic international societies.

He coordinates the Genetics, Vaccines, Infections and Pediatrics Research Group (GENVIP www.genvip.org) of the Healthcare Research Institute of Santiago (IDIS), the Clinical Network of the PERFORM and DIAMONDS consortia, the National Network on Meningococcal Disease (ESIGEM - www.esigem.org), the National Research Network on Respiratory Infections and genetics (GENDRES - www.gendres.org), the Galician Pediatric Research Network (ReGALIP – www.regalip.com), Pneumoexperts (NEP – www.neumoexpertos.org), PID translational Research Network (www.ritip.org), and the Spanish Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (RECLIP – www.reclip.org).

Professor Cal MacLennan
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Oxford and University of Birmingham

Cal MacLennanCal MacLennan is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he has led the Shigella and Salmonella vaccines product development portfolios since 2017. He trained as a clinician scientist and immunologist at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and spent time in Malawi and Kenya investigating immunity to Salmonella, work which highlighted the importance of antibody for protection against nontyphoidal Salmonella. From 2010, MacLennan was Head of Exploratory Programme at the Novartis Vaccines Institute for Global Health, developing vaccines against Salmonella, Shigella and meningococcus. He is an inventor of the Vi-CRM197¬¬ WHO-prequalified typhoid conjugate vaccine. MacLennan returned to Oxford, in 2015, to the Jenner Institute where his ongoing work focuses on gonorrhoea vaccine development. He is a Jenner Investigator and group leader, Professor of Vaccine Immunology and Director of the MRC/GCRF BactiVac Bacterial Vaccinology Network at the University of Birmingham and a consultant immunologist.

 

Dr Sami Gottlieb
WHO

Dr Sami GottliebDr Sami Gottlieb is a Medical Officer in the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization. Her work focuses on the global prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and on vaccine development and implementation related to sexual and reproductive health, including the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy. She has led efforts to implement the Global STI Vaccine Roadmap, which outlines critical next steps to advance vaccine development for STIs such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and herpes simplex virus (HSV). Prior to her position at WHO, Dr Gottlieb worked as a Medical Epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where she was also on the Internal Medicine faculty.

 

Dr Hannah Christensen
University of Bristol

Hannah ChristensenHannah is a lecturer in infectious disease mathematical modelling at the University of Bristol, UK. Her research focuses on using models to predict the potential impact of interventions (particularly vaccination) on infectious diseases. Hannah was recently responsible for developing models of meningococcal disease and vaccination used by policy makers in the UK and several countries in Europe to inform their decisions about the use of Bexsero and MenACWY vaccines against meningococcal disease. She is currently undertaking research to better understand how public preferences about vaccines and their benefits can be included in the tools used by decision makers.

Professor Helen Marshall
University of Adelaide

Helen MarshallProfessor Marshall is a clinician researcher and National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellow with specialist training in child health, public health and vaccinology having completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, Doctorate of Medicine, Master of Public Health and Diploma in Child Health and the Advanced Vaccinology Course at the Pasteur Merieux Institute, France. She holds the position Professor in Vaccinology in the Adelaide Medical School and is the Deputy Director of the Robinson Research Institute at The University of Adelaide, Senior Medical Practitioner and Director of the Vaccinology and Immunology Research Trials Unit, VIRTU, at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, South Australia.

She has been a member of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which advises the Federal Minister of Health on immunisation for the National Immunisation Program and is a member of the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia. Prof Marshall leads a program of research in clinical trials of investigational and licensed vaccines, epidemiology of infectious diseases and social epidemiology. Her main research interests are meningococcal disease and vaccines and maternal immunisation. She was the chief investigator of the “B Part Of It” study, assessing the effectiveness of 4CMenB vaccine on carriage and disease in adolescents in South Australia and is the lead investigator on the “B part of it NT study” in the Northern Territory, assessing the impact of 4CMenB on gonorrhoea. She has received >$33 million in research grants. Prof Marshall has published over 210 peer-reviewed papers in international high ranking journals including the NEJM. She has undertaken COVID vaccine trials and is a member of the COVAX Accelerator working group in maternal immunisation. In recognition of her research excellence she was awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council’s “10 of the Best” research projects nationally in 2016, the South Australia Science Award for Excellence in Research for the Public Good in 2011, the South Australian Science Award for Excellence in research collaboration and was awarded . She was the recipient of the Australia Day Council, Inspiring South Australian Women award in 2020.


Potential use of MenABCWY vaccines

Associate Professor Matthew Snape
University of Oxford

Matthew SnapeMatthew Snape, MBBS FRCPCH MD, is an Associate Professor in General Paediatrics and Vaccinology at the Oxford Vaccine Group, University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics and the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Council. He is also a Jenner Investigator and an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Prof. Snape's principal areas of research relate to vaccines against meningococcal, pneumococcal, influenza, RSV and Ebola virus disease. He is the director of the NIHR funded National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium (NISEC), which has been responsible for delivery of multiple studies evaluating the use of mixed schedules of COVID-19 vaccine and the ‘What’s the STORY’ study evaluating rates of COVID-19 infection in children.


Prevention and epidemic control (2)

Chair and moderator: Professor Kate O’Brien
WHO

Dr Kate O’BrienDr Kate O’Brien is Director of the Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Department at the World Health Organization. In this role she is responsible for leading WHO’s strategy and implementation to advance the vision of a world where everyone, everywhere, at every age, fully benefits from vaccines for good health and wellbeing. The Department works across all levels of WHO (country, region and headquarters) in collaboration with partners to support countries in achieving the optimum use and impact of vaccines. Dr O’Brien also serves as WHO’s Technical Lead of the COVID Vaccine Pillar (COVAX), a part of the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). The mission of COVAX is to deliver 2 billion doses of COVID vaccine by the end of 2021, to help end the acute phase of the pandemic.

Dr O’Brien is a Canadian who trained as a pediatric infectious disease physician, epidemiologist and vaccinologist. She earned her BSc in chemistry from University of Toronto (Canada), her MD from McGill University (Canada), and her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (US) before completing her training at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer, in the Respiratory Diseases Branch. Prior to joining WHO she was Professor of International Health and Epidemiology and Executive Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research and policy work focused on vaccine preventable illnesses, especially for pneumonia causing pathogens including pneumococcal disease; Haemophilus influenzae type b; respiratory syncytial virus and influenza.


Conclusions of P-SERENADE project- implications for pneumococcal vaccine policy and what is happening next

Dr Maria Knoll
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Maria Deloria KnollMaria Deloria Knoll, PhD, is the Director of Epidemiology at the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Knoll’s work involves policy-driven research and assessment of global evidence to evaluate vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, recently primarily regarding pneumonia and meningitis and pneumococcal, meningococcal and COVID-19 infection and disease. Projects include: evaluating the impact of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines introduced into infant immunization programs on pneumococcal disease, including the indirect effects on adults; synthesizing evidence through meta-analytical and modeling approaches to estimate global disease burden, serotype distribution and vaccine effectiveness/impact globally for COVID-19, pneumococcal, Hib, meningococcal and pertussis disease among children and adults; evaluating factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission in a longitudinal cohort study in Maryland; evaluating impact of vaccine dosing schedule, age at immunization and product choice to inform WHO policy recommendations and country decision-making regarding vaccine introduction; determining the causes of pneumonia in a 7-country pneumonia case-control study (PERCH) in developing country settings to guide the development of new pneumonia vaccines and treatment algorithms; evaluating new diagnostic tools such as antigen-based blood tests and pneumococcal serotype-specific urine antigen tests to determine their sensitivity and specificity for detecting pneumococcal disease in pneumonia patients, and digital tools to assist in the standardization of clinical findings, such as digital auscultation and computer automated chest x-ray interpretation; develop new analytical methods for estimating pneumonia etiology; direct VIEW-hub, a publicly available and interactive data visualization platform displaying vaccine introduction, coverage, access, impact, and disease burden data globally for seven vaccines including COVID-19. Dr. Knoll’s projects are primarily collaborative efforts involving WHO and institutions worldwide.


PANEL DISCUSSION: Optimal schedules for control of pneumococcal infection in countries with high and low carriage

Moderated panel discussion on policy issue: switch from 3+0 to 2+1, will it make a difference to control? Is it a necessary step to establish herd protection?

  • What is the best PCV schedule for LMIC? results from trials in Asian countries - Professor Lay-Myint Yoshida, Nagasaki University, Japan AND Prof Shrijana Shrestha, Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal

  • What we have learned from the UK on 1+1 vs 2+1 - Professor David Goldblatt, UCL

  • Role of catch up campaigns - Professor Anthony Scott, KEMRI Wellcome Trust

  • Caveats for PCV schedules that rely on herd effects in countries with intensive transmission - Professor Stefan Flasche, LSHTM

  • Prevention of ST-1 pneumococcal outbreaks in the meningitis belt - Dr Brenda Kwambana Adams, UCL

Including live discussion, Q&A, audience voting

Professor Lay-Myint Yoshida,
Nagasaki University, Japan

Lay-Myint YoshidaLay-Myint Yoshida is the Professor and Head of the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan. He received his medical doctor degree, MBBS (MD) from University of Medical 1, Yangon, Myanmar and obtained his PhD at Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan. He specializes on infectious diseases and vaccine preventable diseases research. He leads the clinical research group of Nagasaki University-Vietnam research project in Vietnam. His research area covers abroad range including viral and bacterial pathogens of pneumonia (ARI), congenital infection, dengue, HIV drug resistance, etc. Currently he is conducting a PCV reduced dosing schedule trial in Vietnam funded by the Bill & Melinda Gated foundation.

Prof Shrijana Shrestha
Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal

Shrijana ShresthaWorking as a Paediatrician since 1998, Professor of Paediatrics (2010) and Dean School of Medicine, Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS), Nepal (2014-2021)
Involved in the surveillance of invasive bacterial diseases since 2005 and worked as the Principal investigator /Co-investigator in several collaborative research projects with University of Oxford on Infectious diseases and vaccine preventable diseases and working towards generating local data on disease burden, vaccine efficacy and impact in order to help in policy decisions on introduction of new vaccines and vaccine schedules for Nepal. Currently working on Pneumococcal vaccine impact, Typhoid conjugate vaccine study, infant immunisation schedule study and DIAMONDS (Diagnosis and Management of Febrile Illness using RNA Personalised Molecular Signature Diagnosis).
Servings as a member South- East Asia Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication -RCCPE (2019-2021), member WHO Global Task Team for Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Response -PIVR (2020-2021), Board Member THEnet- The Training for Health Equity Network (2021), member National Health Financing Strategy Rapid Response Initiative Zero Draft Integration Committee (2021) and the National Commissioner Nepal NCDI Poverty Commission (2018-2021).
Served as a member of National AEFI Committee Nepal (2011-2017), contributed as an expert to conduct a 'National Technical Consultation for the development of a manual for field investigation of AEFI' (2015). Also contributed as a co-investigator on the joint project with the WHO country office on ‘Assessment of quality of Paediatric care in referral hospitals of Nepal and worked as a member of Child Health IMNCI Technical Committee (2016).
Contributed in the development and implementation of the innovative undergraduate medical curriculum and the competency-based curriculum for the post graduate program at PAHS School of Medicine. Also a member of National Medical Education Accreditation Committee (2020/2021) and served as a member of High Level National commission on Health Professional education (2016).

 

Professor David Goldblatt
UCL

David GoldblattDavid Goldblatt is Professor of Vaccinology and Immunology and Head of the Immunobiology Section at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London (UCL) where he also holds the role of Institute Deputy Director for NHS Engagement. He is a Consultant Paediatric Immunologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) where he is also Director of Clinical Research and Development. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, his Paediatric qualifications from the Royal College of Physicians (London) and a PhD in Immunology from the University of London, United Kingdom.
He has a long-standing interest in the immune response to vaccines and infectious diseases. He has an active research programme studying bacterial conjugate vaccines in the young and the elderly, the ontogeny of the immune response to bacterial carriage and infection, evaluation of functional immunity to S. pneumoniae proteins, the development of new pneumococcal vaccines and the development of functional assays for evaluating immunity to bacterial candidate vaccines including Group A and Group B Streptococcus and Klebsiella Pneumoniae. He is a regular advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on vaccines and is Director of the WHO Reference Laboratory for Pneumococcal Serology based at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in London as well as co-director of the UCL NIHR Mucosal Pathogen Research Unit (2017-2022). He serves on subcommittees of the United Kingdom Department of Health Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the US FDA, EMA and MHRA on vaccine evaluation and COVID Vaccine licensure and has served as a member of MRC, Wellcome Trust and US NIH funding panels.

 

Professor Anthony Scott
KEMRI Wellcome Trust

Anthony ScottI trained in clinical infectious diseases and epidemiology in the UK before moving to the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya in 1993. I have spent most of the last 30 years in Kenya, studying pneumococcal disease and pneumonia in children and adults, and vaccines to prevent them. In 2000 I set up the Kilifi Health and Demographic Surveillance System with Tom Williams and linked the data for all demographic, clinical and laboratory projects electronically. This passive surveillance system has been used to assess the impact of several interventions including Hib conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine. I am currently working on a trial of fractional doses of PCV and on seroepidemiology and population mortality of COVID-19 in Kenya. I manage a small research group in Harar, Ethiopia, focused on the cause of death in children under 5 – as part of the CHAMPS network (Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance). In the UK, I am Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Immunisation and I am a member of the UK vaccine policy committee (JCVI). I co-organise, with Stefan Flasche, an annual short course on vaccine evaluation at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Professor Stefan Flasche
LSHTM

Stefan FlascheSince my PhD years I have been fascinated by the complexities and challenges of pneumococcal vaccination which has been my main focus of work. As of 2018 my research in this area is supported through a Sir Henry Dale Wellcome Trust Fellowship.
I have also been frequently following related interest, in particular for outbreak response (SARS-CoV-2, ebola and swine flu) and adivising WHO on modelling (including dengue and malaria).
I currently am co-director of CMMID, serve on WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation's (WHO SAGE) working group on pneumococcal conjugate vaccines and on the WHO SAGE working group on dengue vaccine as well on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation's (JCVI) pneumococcal subgroup.

 

Dr Brenda Kwambana Adams
UCL

Brenda Kwambana AdamsBrenda Anna Kwambana-Adams is a Senior Research Fellow in Bacterial Pathogenesis and Genomics at the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Mucosal Pathogens at University College London. Brenda supports laboratory surveillance of acute bacterial meningitis across West and Central Africa. She has also led technical missions supporting meningitis outbreak investigations and contributed to the development of WHO guidelines on controlling pneumococcal outbreaks in the African “meningitis belt”. Brenda also served as the Deputy Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for New Vaccines Surveillance (WHO CC NVS) hosted at the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Brenda’s research interests are to characterise the mechanisms that modulate transmission of respiratory pathogens using cutting-edge “omics”, with the aim to guide the development of more effective control strategies. In the process of doing this, Brenda is also developing tools for early, rapid and accurate diagnosis of meningitis and bacteraemia that could improve case ascertainment in resource limited settings.

Brenda has won a numerous awards including the first prestigious MRC-LSHTM West Africa Global Health Research Fellowship and served on technical working groups that contributed to the development of the WHO Defeating Meningitis 2030 Global Roadmap.

 


Prevention and epidemic control (3)

Chair and moderator: Professor James Stuart
WHO and University of Bristol

Professor James StuartProfessor James Stuart is an honorary professor in population health sciences at the University of Bristol and is a consultant for WHO. After qualifying in medicine, James worked for ten years as a clinical doctor in the UK and rural South Africa before specialising in public health and epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly meningococcal meningitis. He has been involved in the investigation and control of outbreaks internationally and has published extensively on the epidemiology of meningococcal disease and carriage. James has worked for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a major research project into meningococcal carriage during the introduction of a serogroup A conjugate vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa. In more recent years he has been working for WHO, co-ordinating revision of outbreak response guidelines for the meningitis belt and helping to develop and start implementation of the WHO roadmap on “Defeating Meningitis by 2030”. He chairs the MRF Scientific Advisory Panel.


PANEL DISCUSSION How should MenACWYX vaccine be used in the meningitis belt? Is more research needed to inform strategy?

  • The importance of MenACWYX vaccine for meningitis belt countries - Professor Samba Sow, Center for Vaccine Development, Mali

  • GAVI view on the use of MenACWYX in the meningitis belt - Dr Lee Hampton, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Geneva
  • Which age groups should be targeted for mass vaccination campaigns? Results from modelling studies - Dr Caroline Trotter, University of Cambridge
  • Deciding vaccine strategy based on current evidence - Dr Mark Alderson, PATH
  • The need for a cluster randomised trial on impact on carriage to inform vaccination strategy - Dr Matt Coldiron, Epicentre / Médecins Sans Frontières

Including live discussion, audience Q&A, and voting on 3 questions:

1. Once licensed and WHO prequalified, MenACWYX conjugate vaccine should replace MenA conjugate vaccine in EPI programmes across the meningitis belt combined with

  • A. no mass campaigns
  • B. mass campaigns of children/young adults across the belt
  • C. mass campaigns of children/young adults but only in highest risk countries

2. If mass campaigns are conducted, they should cover

  • A. 5-14 year olds
  • B. 1-19 year olds
  • C. 1-29 year olds

3. A cluster-randomised trial is needed now to measure the impact of MenACWYX vaccine on carriage to support decisions on vaccination strategy

  • A. Yes
  • B. No

Professor Samba Sow
Center for Vaccine Development, Mali

Professor Samba SowProfessor Samba Sow is a former Minister of Health for Mali and currently Director General of the National Institute of Public Health, Mali. He is also DG for Centre for Vaccine Development (CVD), Ministry of Health, Mali.
In 2020, he was appointed by the Director General of WHO as one of six Special Envoys to WHO on COVID-19, to provide strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world. He also holds a faculty appointment as Professor at the University of Maryland, Division of Geographic Medicine. He has been Director of CVD-Mali since its inception in 2001.
He received his Bachelor of Science from the Lycée Askia Mohamed, Bamako, Mali, his Doctor of Medicine degree from the École Nationale de Médecine et Pharmacie du Mali (ENMP), and his Master of Science from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.

During his career, he has made substantial contributions to basic vaccinology, bacterial pathogenesis, clinical research, field epidemiology and public health policy in Mali and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Sow is an Honorary International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH).

Professor Sow has received the Prix Laviron de Médecine Tropicale, the Commemorative Fund Lectureship of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and was also named to the rank of Officer of the National Order of Mali, by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, for his efforts in controlling outbreaks in the country. He has authored and co-authored more than 90 scientific articles and chapters.

Dr Lee Hampton
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Geneva

Lee HamptonLee Hampton, MD MSc is a pediatrician and the disease surveillance, diagnostics, and vaccine safety focal point at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Dr. Hampton has previously served as a medical officer and Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he worked on preventing or controlling outbreaks of polio, cholera, Ebola, and Legionnaires’ disease both in the United States and internationally. Dr. Hampton has authored 49 scientific publications, received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and completed specialty training in pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

 

Dr Caroline Trotter
University of Cambridge

Dr Caroline TrotterDr Caroline Trotter is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a particular interest in vaccine evaluation. She is based at the University of Cambridge and has an honorary position with Public Health England. Most of her research is on bacterial meningitis, and in particular meningococcal disease. She uses a variety of methods, including observational studies, mathematical modelling and cost-effectiveness analyses and enjoys addressing questions of direct relevance to vaccine and public health policy. Caroline is also the Director of the Cambridge-Africa Programme, a University wide initiative to connect researchers in Cambridge and Africa

 

Dr Mark Alderson
PATH

Mark AldersonDr Mark Alderson is the Bacterial Vaccine Initiative Leader with PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, playing a lead role in the Pneumococcal Vaccine Project (PVP), Group B Streptococcal (GBS) Vaccine Project and Meningococcal Vaccine Project, Polyvalent (MVPP). These projects seek to accelerate the development and licensure of promising pneumococcal, GBS and meningococcal vaccines and ensure their availability and use in developing countries. Dr. Alderson has more than 30 years of experience in medical research, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development. He joined PATH in August, 2006, serving initially as PVP Scientific Director until his appointment as PVP Director in July, 2007. He was appointed MVPP director in 2012 and GBS Vaccine Project Director in 2016. Prior to joining PATH, Dr. Alderson was Director of Immunology at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Seattle, where he led preclinical work on synthetic adjuvants for a variety of vaccine targets. Prior to GSK, he was Senior Director of Immunology at Corixa Corporation where he was responsible for the preclinical discovery and evaluation of adjuvants and vaccines for tuberculosis, Chlamydia and HSV. Dr. Alderson has extensive experience in vaccine development and has published over 80 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals. He served as an Affiliate Associate Professor, Department of Pathobiology at the University of Washington from 2002 until 2006. Dr. Alderson earned his PhD in immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia and his MBA at Seattle University.

Dr Matt Coldiron
Epicentre / Médecins Sans Frontières

Matt ColdironDr Matt Coldiron has worked as a medical epidemiologist at Epicentre / Médecins Sans Frontières since 2011. After completing an AB at Princeton, he received MD and MPH degrees from Emory University, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at NYU-Bellevue Hospital in New York. His major areas of interest are meningitis and malaria in the African Sahel, the treatment of snakebite in resource-limited settings, emerging infectious diseases, and conducting research in humanitarian emergencies.

 

MRF conference 2021: Headline sponsor Pfizer. GSK are supporting via a grant. Sanofi are conference sponsors.

A global vision for meningitis by 2030 and an action plan to get there.
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Give researchers the clues to help defeat meningitis
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Liz Rodgers
Research Projects Manager

Hi, I’m Liz and I’m MRF's Research Projects Manager.

If you’d like to know more about this area of MRF's work, do get in touch.

Tel: 0333 405 6258
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