A new vaccine to treat meningitis B has shown encouraging results thus far in clinical trials involving 150 babies in the UK.
Manufactured by Novartis, the vaccine tackles on of the worst types of meningitis, which is the inflammation of the layers of the brain called meninges. A vaccine against meningitis B is difficult to produce as many strains are involved. Novartis said it examined 85 strains before making the vaccine.
Advertisement"The preliminary results tell us that the vaccine is likely to kill strains that contain the vaccine's antigens," said Dr Ray Borrow, head of the vaccine evaluation department at Manchester Royal Infirmary and the study leader.
Some 150 babies received the vaccine two, four and six months of age, and then again at 12 months. The researchers tested the immune response against three available meningitis strains and found 89%, 96% and 85% response respectively.
"This could be the beginning of getting a solution for meningitis B. The challenge has been to find a vaccine that works across different strains of the disease," said Professor David Salisbury, director of immunization at the Department of Health.