Meningococcus (Neisseria meningitis) is a germ that causes serious diseases such as meningitis and blood infection. N. meningitidis is carried and transmitted only by humans. Meningococcal serogroups are designated by letters of the alphabet, and serogroups A, B, C, W and Y most the commonly causes of the disease. More information about the signs and symptoms of meniningococcal disease can be found under resources for parents.
Meningococcal B Study in toddlers
Children under 4 years of age are at the highest risk of developing meningococcal B disease, and although we routinely vaccinate against meningococcal disease caused by the C strain, we do not have a vaccine on the Australian National Immunisation Schedule to protect against the B strain. A licensed meningococcal B vaccine is only available for purchase privately.
The Meningococcal B Toddler Study has involved 30 toddlers aged 12 – 24 months, and involved collecting information on the immune response (how well your child makes antibodies after having the vaccine) and safety (side effects) of the Men B vaccine.
We appreciate the commitment of parents in their dedication to the study requirements. While recruitment finished in August 2016, Stage 2 will commence shortly involving a further three years of follow up to assess the duration of the immune response to the vaccine.
The MenACWY-TT-104 study is being conducted to determine if toddlers should receive one or two doses of the Meningococcal A, C, W135 and Y vaccine, and if it can be given at the same time as a licensed vaccine called Prevenar13TM , already given to infants as part of the immunisation schedule at 2, 4 and 6 months of age.
The MenACWY-TT-104 study commenced in April 2014. All study participants received one or two doses of the licensed vaccine Nimenrix, containing meningococcal serogroups A, C, W135 and Y, and are being followed up for five years.
Earlier this year our study participants (now aged four years old) returned to our clinic for their three- year post-vaccination appointment. A blood sample was collected to measure the children’s antibodies to meningococcal serogroups A, C, W and Y, and this will help us determine how long protection persists after vaccination.
The Vaccine Trials Group thanks all the children and their families for their contribution to this valuable research project.
The AMEND study is being completed to assess the outcomes for adolescents and young adults following meningococcal disease and how the disease affects patients and their families.
Participants are being enrolled from participating hospitals in Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne. We hope to enrol around 110 patients aged between 15 – 24 years at the time of diagnosis and admitted to hospital from 2006 to 2018. We would also like to assess quality of life of meningococcal survivors and their families after the disease and how much it costs the government and families to treat the disease and complications.
The information gathered will be important in determining the benefits of current and future strategies for protection against meningococcal disease and management for those affected.