UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Meningitis vaccines in children : what have we achieved and where next? McAlpine, Alastair; Sadarangani, Manish


Purpose of review: This review highlights the recent impacts of vaccines against the major bacterial causes of meningitis in children, and the challenges for further prevention of bacterial meningitis, with a focus on Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis and Group B Streptococcus. Recent findings: Conjugate vaccines against S. pneumoniae and N. meningitidis have resulted in dramatic reductions in bacterial meningitis globally where they have been used. Recent licensure and use of capsular group B meningococcal protein vaccines have further reduced meningococcal meningitis in infants, young children and adolescents for countries with endemic disease and during outbreaks. Summary: Existing vaccines to prevent bacterial meningitis in children should be utilized in countries with significant numbers of cases of pneumococcal and/or meningococcal meningitis. Vaccines which are able to protect against more than 13 serotypes of S. pneumoniae are in clinical trials and should be able to further reduce pneumococcal meningitis cases. Cost effective meningococcal vaccines against non-A capsular groups are needed for low resource countries. There remains an urgent need for a vaccine against Group B Streptococcus, which is a major cause of neonatal meningitis globally and for which no vaccine currently exists.

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