Million pound grant to expand knowledge of measles
More than £1 million has been awarded to Public Health England (PHE) to develop a test for childhood immunity to measles and tetanus.
The research could deliver a universal approach for monitoring population immunity and vaccine coverage in the future.
PHE will also be assessing technology to send digital point of care test results, displaying location and sample identity to national immunisation centres.
The rechargeable portable readers being tested could be used in developing countries, where direct access to health services is limited.
Professor David Brown, director of the Virus Reference Department at PHE said: “Oral fluid is proven as a simple and effective sample to collect and use for surveillance, especially with babies and young children. The grant enables us to explore this new technology for measles and tetanus, both of which have a great impact on health services around the world.
“This research is a part of a global programme to support the vaccine initiative. Advancing data collection on coverage and immunity may help inform vaccine programme delivery in the future. Although we’re currently focusing on measles and tetanus, the technology involved presents opportunities to expand these innovative POCTs into other fields.”
The first major field tests will be performed in Uganda in the next 18 months to define performance for monitoring routine vaccine coverage in real settings.
PHE has globally pioneered oral fluid sampling over the past two decades and continues to develop this area to establish new and effective ways of increasing vaccine access and coverage to populations.