In 2011, Meningitis Research Foundation supported the establishment of a Meningococcal Genome Library (MRF-MGL): a free online resource that provides the complete genetic blueprint of every meningococcus isolated as a cause of meningitis and septicaemia/sepsis in the UK.
This marked a world first and has proved to be a valuable and lifesaving resource, helping to accurately diagnose cases of meningitis, and track changes and emerging threats of meningococcal bacteria.
However, meningitis and sepsis are an important global problem. In 2016, meningitis and neonatal sepsis combined were the second biggest infectious killer of children under-five globally - killing more children of this age than malaria, measles and TB combined.
Following the success of the MRF-MGL, and in recognition of the fact that meningitis is a global issue that urgently needs addressing, as part of a Global Roadmap to Defeat Meningitis by 2030 we are now working to support the development of a Global Meningitis Genome Library to enable us to better understand bacterial meningitis.
The GMGL aims to:
- Engage scientists and national laboratories from around the world to include their data, to ultimately obtain a complete picture of the strains causing meningitis globally, and how and where they are spreading
- Develop easily interpreted formats appropriate for all audiences who are interested in accessing the information, including: public health bodies, heath care professionals, policy makers, government health officials and scientists, scientists from related fields, patient groups, journalists and the general public; special interest groups; and the scientific community.
- Create a platform that will influence international health policy and subsequently greatly improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia/sepsis.
Ultimately, the GMGL aims to help save countless lives across the world.