TNVZ/One News: Cautious response to meningococcal breakthrough

British research has revealed a genetic basis to peoples’ susceptibility to meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia – Meningococcal B cases have been dropping in New Zealand following an immunisation programme started in 2004.

A New Zealand scientist has urged caution, however, pointing out that infectious diseases are also affected by environmental factors such as crowding and access to healthcare.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The researchers found that in some people, the bacteria could take over the immune system easily, whereas others had more resistant immune systems.

“The difference was related to a variation in a small set of genes in their system that triggered an immune response.

“But one Kiwi medical expert says solutions to the deadly disease are far more complex than genetics and is urging caution.

“”Infectious diseases are driven by social factors, crowding, access to health care,” says Professor Diana Lennon, Auckland University.”