UK doctors create nose drops that could protect against meningitis and pneumonia

BRITISH doctors have developed revolutionary nose drops that could protect against flu.

Just a few squirts up each nostril also has the potential to keep meningitispneumonia and ear infections at bay.

University Hospital Southampton is already trialling the meningitis spray in people, with the others set to follow within a year.

All have proven effective in lab tests.

Prof Robert Read genetically modified a type of “friendly” bacteria to help it stick in the nose and throat.

From here it can prime the body’s immune system and help fight off invaders that are breathed in.

Modifying the bacteria in different ways alters the type of infections it can combat.

There are around 1,500 cases of meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial form of the disease, in the UK each year.

It can cause death in as little as four hours from the onset of symptoms.

Current meningitis vaccines help protect the body if the harmful bacteria invade the bloodstream.


But the new treatment aims to prevent the bacteria from getting into the blood in the first place.

Current flu vaccines are not always effective because the circulating strain may not match those included in the jab.

The new drops should protect against all strains of the virus, which killed 11,000 people in the UK in 2013/14.


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