Princeton researcher to study effect of meningitis vaccine following outbreak

A researcher at Princeton University said on Friday that subjects are needed to study the impact of the meningitis B vaccine that was offered on campus during the recent meningitis outbreak.

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Associate Research Scholar Nicole Basta said Princeton students offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the disease and vaccine.

"The use of the meningitis B vaccine at Princeton provides an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate its impact," Basta said. "The more we can learn about the vaccination in the context of Princeton's outbreak, the better prepared we'd be in the future to prevent and control meningococcal serogroup B outbreaks throughout the world."

Nine cases of meningococcal disease serogroup B have been reported in connection with the university. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration approved use of the vaccine for 5,800 people in the community.

The vaccine is licensed for use in Europe, Australia and Canada, but not in the United States.

The first dose of the meningitis B vaccine was provided to 5,502 people and 5,139 of them received the second dose.

The study will take place on campus, and research the antibody response following vaccination.

"Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools of disease prevention ever developed," Basta said. "Studying the immune response to vaccines on the individual and population levels yields valuable information, enabling us to develop more effective strategies for preventing and controlling infectious diseases and reducing public health threats both in our community and worldwide."

The study is approved by Princeton's Institutional Review Board and funded by the Program on U.S. Health Policy in the Center for Health and Wellbeing.