Scientists discover why some people do not suffer from meningitis

A new study, published this week in a journal that focuses on septicaemia and meningitis may have found small genetic differences that could account why some people seem to be highly susceptible to these diseases and others seem to be highly resistant to them.

You can read the research that was conducted by the Imperial College London and the Singapore Institute in the August 8th Nature Genetics online issue.

The study took into account 6,000 people and found that people who come down with septicaemia and meningitis have certain gene variants in their biological makeup that prevent their immune systems from effectively defending against the bacterial infections.

Professor Dr. Michael Levin from the Imperial College London told the press that almost all people carry the meningitis bacteria at various points in their life even though only one out of every 40,000 people actually develop the full blown disease.

As a result, his team set out to find out why this small percentage of people get infected while other people stay immune to its presence throughout their life.  Levin emphasized that their findings proved that so far it seems genetic factors are the main factor in why people develop chronic cases of meningitis.

One in ten people who become ill after being infected with meningococcal bacteria will die after their brain linings become inflamed.  The disease is caused by different organisms including fungi, viruses, and bacteria.

Young children, infants, young adults, and teenagers are at the highest risk of coming down with this type of meningitis and can become seriously ill in just a matter or hours.