A safe and effective vaccine for meningitis B could be just around the corner, scientists have revealed.

Currently, there is no cure for the B strain meningitis, despite breakthroughs against other forms, including Hib, meningitis C and pneumococcal meningitis. It is the only strain that of the disease that cannot be treated in the UK.

The disease is often fatal, and those who do survive often suffer permanent damage, including deafness, brain damage and limb amputations. However, scientists at the University of Chile believe their formula, currently called 4CMenB, could be used in the fight against the disease:

They said: "The results of our study suggest that two doses of 4CMenB given to healthy adolescents can impart substantial protection against meningococcal serogroup B disease. Further study is needed to provide information about the immunogenicity and tolerability of 4CMenB in various age groups, including infants, who bear the largest disease burden worldwide."

Posted by Robert Mair on 18/1/2012