by VR Sreeraman on  November 18, 2007 at 1:11 PM Drug News
New Meningitis Vaccine for Infants Shows Promise
A new vaccine, Menveo, has shown promise in clinical trials, which might help protect infants against four types of meningitis.

A study carried out on the new vaccine, which has been developed by Novartis, suggests that it is protective from six months.

The analysis of the trials has found good immune responses in 175 infants who received either two doses at ages six and 12 months or one dose at 12 months against all four strains.

In the vaccine, molecules from the outer membrane of the meningitis virus are attached to a protein, which can prompt a stronger immune response than the membrane molecules alone.

It is a conjugate vaccine, which is better at producing "immune memory" than the older polysaccharide vaccines.

Dr Andrew Pollard, head of the Paediatric Infection and Immunity Laboratory at the University of Oxford, said that the strains of meningitis varied from country to country.

"A vaccine that protects against any cases is worth having, although vaccination policy will vary by country depending on which strains are most common," BBC quoted him, as saying.

Chris Head, chief executive of the Meningitis Research Foundation said that the current vaccines against A, W-135 and Y strains provided limited protection in the very young.

"The prospect of broader protection against meningitis and septicaemia is tremendously encouraging, particularly for young children who bear the greatest burden from these deadly diseases," he said.

The findings were presented at the World Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Congress recently.

Source: ANI

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