“If found to be the case, introducing the MenB vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule for teenagers could mean that MenB will die out, just as MenC did 15 years ago by the exact same method.
“For the large-scale government funded study to provide clear answers, we need to understand how it should best be run, and that’s what we’re working to find out at the University of Bristol, with funding from MRF.
“We are currently analysing throat swabs and saliva samples from 433 Bristol students who have been vaccinated against MenB.
“From this study we hope to understand: The feasibility of conducting vaccine research in schools; whether repeated saliva sampling offers a more convenient and acceptable way of assessing bacterial carriage compared to more conventionally used throat swabs; whether the MenB vaccine appears to prevent carriage of the MenB bacteria.
“We’ll also be using this opportunity to carry out detailed research looking at what enables the meningococcal bacteria to successfully colonise in the noses and throats of some people and how they then spread it to other people.”