Linda Glennie, Director of Research, said: “Our genome library is a world first for meningitis. The data it houses provides the complete genetic blueprint of every sample of meningococcal bacteria from thousands of cases of meningitis or septicaemia in the UK over many years. By comparing these samples, researchers can find clues that will help us defeat the diseases.
“Families affected by meningitis often ask us ‘why me... why my child?’ It is so difficult to for them because we don’t know why the bacteria turns deadly is some cases. This research helps to get us a step closer to providing answers.”
The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and Swedish Research Council funded the research.
Collaborators on the project included, the National Reference Laboratory for Neisseria meningitidis
, Örebro, Sweden and Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Meningitis is a complex disease and further research is needed to strengthen the association between hypercapsulation and the progression of invasive meningococcal disease. To build knowledge in meningitis genomics, MRF is helping to establish a Global Meningitis Genome Partnership
- a co-ordinated approach to collecting and sharing global genomic data for the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
Header image: A coloured SEM picture of Neisseria meningitidis by Hannes Eichner, Francesco Righetti and Edmund Loh.