Study to examine pros and cons of meningitis vaccine in the U.K.

The Meningitis Research Foundation said on Tuesday that the University of Cambridge will study the cost and benefit of introducing a Group B streptococcal vaccine in the United Kingdom.

Group B streptococcal bacteria causes neonatal meningitis and septicaemia, and is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in newborns.

The study will be led by Caroline Trotter with Mary Ramsay, Shamez Ladhani, Theresa Lamagni and Paul Heath.

The team will use a mathematical model to estimate the financial costs and benefits of preventing the disease with a vaccine. The model will be created based on recent information and study results from a previous 2010-2013 study.

The previous MRF-funded project studied the after-effects one to three years after the illness. Current information will be combined with previously known information to develop the best vaccine strategies.

The new study will take place before MRF vaccine trials are completed, which will cut down the time between developing a plan and being able to implement it. MRF is hoping to have vaccines approved and ready for use when the group of researchers comes forward with a plan.

MRF said the new prediction models will be presented at conferences, in journals and be available for foundation members and supporters. It hopes the model will be used as evidence by U.K .vaccine policy makers.