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Potentially life saving meningitis test developed

27th June 2012

Scientists from the Health Protection Agency have devised a test for meningitis which provides results in two hours.


Group B Streptoccocal meningitis causes the deaths of around one in eight babies who contract it.

The condition affected 506 babies under the age of three in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2010.

If the condition is not caught early, it can cause serious complications such as blood poisoning, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain. 

Dr Aruni De Zoysa, from the HPA’s Streptococcus Reference Unit, said: "If we can allow clinicians to diagnose GBS infection quickly and accurately, this will mean antibiotic treatment can start sooner. Better management of the disease in this way should reduce the risk of mortality."

She described the current blood test as "time-consuming and unreliable" and added: "our new test, although still in the early stages of development, is an invaluable tool that is based on detecting DNA, which makes diagnosis far more accurate and allows us to get results much faster."

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Jason Hulbert

Friday 29th June 2012 @ 10:44

I was encouraged to read this article, which details the possible life-saving qualities of the new two-hour test for Group B Streptococcal (GBS).

Everyone at Meningitius UK welcomes the news as GBS can cause meningitis as well as blood poisoning (septicaemia) and pneumonia.

Meningitis can strike with incredible speed and the symptoms are notoriously difficult to detect, often being confused with flu.

For these reasons, we believe preventative measures are the best solution.

Our sole focus is to fund the development of vaccines and other methods of preventing this devastating disease.

Our Search 4 A Vaccine Campaign aims to raise £7 million to fund lifesaving research into stamping out all forms of meningitis.

In the absence of a vaccine, we also distribute a wide range of material to raise awareness of the common symptoms and the need to act quickly, which can mean the difference between life and death.

If any of your readers would like a symptoms information pack, including wallet-sized symptoms cards, or to find out more about supporting our Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign, they can call Meningitis UK on 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisUK.org

Yours faithfully

Kate Rowland

Chief executive, Meningitis UK

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Article Information

Title: Potentially life saving meningitis test developed
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22228
Date Added: 27th Jun 2012


The Telegraph

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