Breakthrough in development of meningitis B vaccine

Researchers have come one step closer in the development of a vaccine to fight meningitis B, the deadly disease that kills hundreds of people every year, the New York Daily News reported.

According to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal, adolescents in Australia, Poland and Spain who were given the drug developed an effective immune response to the virus without any adverse side-effects.

The test group produced antibodies that successfully attacked 90 percent of strains in the meningitis B group.

"Our data suggest that this vaccine is a promising and broadly protective meningococcal serogroup B vaccine candidate," study lead author Peter Richmond, from the University of Western Australia's School of Paediatrics and Child Health, told the New York Daily News.

Meningitis B affects mostly North America and Europe.  While vaccines currently exist for types A and C of meningitis, there is no comprehensive vaccine against strains in serogroup B.

The study’s authors said that additional studies must be conducted to determine the duration of the vaccine’s protection.

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