A new vaccine to protect children against meningitis B may be available by 2011, according to researchers.
Although vaccines are available for pneumococcal meningitis and the "C" and "Hib" types, scientists have struggled to find an effective vaccine for meningococcus B, reports Times Online.
Now, pharmaceutical company Novartis has developed a meningococcus B vaccine, which is the frontrunner in the race to provide immunisation against the infection.
The jab is currently in the final stages of testing at the University of Oxford.
It is the first of its kind to be developed after the entire genome of a deadly bacteria was sequenced.
Rino Rappuoli, of Novartis, said the product had been developed after Craig Venter, the pioneer of human genome sequencing, published the genetic structure of meningococcus B in 2000.
This offered researchers with a lot of information about potential targets for a vaccine, or 'antigens', which help the body to fight off infection.