MRF Meningococcus Genome Library crucial to UK fight against meningitis and septicaemiav
The MRF – MGL is a ground-breaking resource that is online and is comprised of genetic blueprints from all of the meningococci samples isolated from cases in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland as of July 2010.
Now the library has extended its samples to include samples from 2009 and 2013 in Scotland.
“This work demonstrates that the MRF-MGL provides a sustainable, flexible and user-friendly infrastructure for the routine surveillance of meningococcal disease,” Martin Maiden, Professor at the University of Oxford, said. “The library is free to access for everyone around the world and will enable clinicians and scientists to recognise patterns in disease trends, predict outbreaks, develop targeted interventions and evaluate how well vaccines are working. This will be particularly important for monitoring the success of the new MenB vaccine (Bexsero) which was introduced to the UK childhood immunisation program September 1.”
The library is the world’s first routine surveillance of bacterial invasive disease for an entire nation.
“This data reveals information crucial for effective vaccine deployment and assessment as illustrated by the recent introduction by Public Health England of the MenACWY vaccine for 14- to 18-year-olds and under-25-year-olds going to university for the first time,” Chris Head, CEO of Meningitis Research Foundation, said. “Our Library has been instrumental in establishing that a recent rise in MenW cases since 2009 is caused by the ST-11 (cc-11) meningococcal family, a particularly virulent type with a high case fatality rate.”