University of Leicester to showcase novel meningitis vaccine research at ‘Discovery Day’

Posted by ap507 at Jun 06, 2016 02:15 PM |
Open outreach event to be hosted by the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics in partnership with the Meningitis Research Foundation on Wednesday 8 June

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 6 June 2016 

An open outreach event will showcase the latest meningitis vaccine research carried out by the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester and Public Health England at Manchester.

The ‘Discovery Day’, in partnership with the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF), will take place from 18:00-20:00 on Wednesday 8 June and aims to involve fundraisers and people who have directly been impacted by the disease, providing an opportunity to see first-hand the meningitis vaccine research being conducted.

Due to limited places those interested in attending are urged to book their place as early as possible by contacting Anna Jones on or on 0333 405 6258.

Dr Chris Bayliss, from the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester, leads the research and aims to develop a test capable of measuring the level of one of the protein antigens, fHbp, in the new MenB vaccine, Bexsero®, in order to help assess the effectiveness of this vaccine.

Such a test would make it possible to predict whether a strain contains enough fHbp to be covered by Bexsero® for disease cases where the meningitis-causing bacteria have not been obtained.

Dr Chris Bayliss said: “Robust evaluation of protection by the new protein-based MenB vaccines has raised challenges requiring development of sophisticated molecular tests.”

The vaccine is currently only available to newborn babies and those at increased risk of meningococcal disease in the United Kingdom. It is hoped that this research will be recognised by medical professionals and can therefore pave the way for wider distribution of the vaccine in the future.

Professor Ray Borrow PhD FRCPath, Head of The Vaccine Evaluation Unit, Public Health England, Manchester and chair of the MRF Scientific Advisory Panel, added: “Tests to determine whether a particular case should or should not have been covered by Bexsero® will be hugely useful given that for about 50% of cases there is no strain isolated.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to tour the laboratories and speak with researchers over refreshments.

The research is funded by the MRF and members of the charity.

Led by Dr Chris Bayliss, the research, which began in May 2015, is supported by Dr Julie Morrissey (Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester), Professor Ray Borrow (Head of the Vaccine Evaluation Unit at Public Health England in Manchester) and Professor Helen Cooper (School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham).

The ‘Discovery Day’ will take place between 18:00-20:00 on Wednesday 8 June in the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester.


Note to Editors:

For further information about the event, please contact Anna Jones on /

For more information about the research contact Dr Chris Bayliss on



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