Dissecting the invasiveness of meningococcal infections
Recent years have witnessed a re-emergence of the meningococcal serogroup W type-11 strain which demonstrates increased invasiveness. To address this medical challenge, the EU-funded EpIg Men project will investigate the virulence factors responsible for the invasiveness of this strain and whether antibodies can still clear the pathogen. In particular, researchers will study the mechanisms underlying the interaction of meningococcal bacteria with epithelial cells and evaluate the ability of antibodies from different age groups to protect against infection. Results will help formulate novel public protection measures and potentially identify novel targets for therapies as well as vaccine design.