Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

Meningitis Vaccine Project Meeting: A scientific workshop, Pune (India)

12 March 2010, Pune (India)

Recurrent, severe epidemics of meningococcal disease strike the meningitis belt, an area of Sub-Saharan Africa extending from Senegal to Ethiopia. Annual incidences can reach 1,000 / 100,000 vs. 1 / 100,000 in developed countries.

Over the last century, Group A meningococcus has remained unique in its ability to cause large epidemics. A vaccine, inducing long-lasting protection and herd immunity, is urgently needed.

The Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), was created through core funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate meningococcal conjugate vaccine development and introduction at an affordable cost for widespread use in Africa. MVP's goal is "to eliminate epidemic meningitis as a public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa through the development, testing, introduction, and widespread use of conjugate meningococcal vaccines".

A scientific forum intended to review the developments from such a unique vaccine, was organized by WHO in conjunction with Fondation Mérieux and PATH. The meeting that gathered approximately 100 participants, was hosted by the Serum Institute of India on 10–12 2010 February, in Pune (India), Its primary aim was to bring together all the pharmaceutical and clinical development project partners to share results and experiences while building capacity and expertise among Indian and African investigators.

Partners and experts' discussions improved knowledge on MVP development model among the participants and fostered further interactions and collaborations between all the investigators and partners.

An article should result in a journal supplement for publication.

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