A new meningitis vaccine could protect infants as young as six months of age against the disease.
Experts at the World Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases in Thailand believe the vaccine could prevent thousands of deaths from meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia each year.
The vaccine protects against strains A, C, W135 and Y.
Chris Head, Meningitis Research Foundation's chief executive, commented: "The prospect of broader protection against meningitis and septicaemia is tremendously encouraging, particularly for young children who bear the greatest burden from these deadly disease."
He adds that currently available vaccines provide very limited protection against strains A, W135 and Y in vulnerable youngsters but not against strain C.
"This new vaccine could save many young lives across the globe," he says.