Steve Dayman at the launch of the exciting new research project at the University of Bristol

Steve Explains to BBC TV how the research will help the development of a vaccine to prevent Group A Strep.

Steve Dayman Filming


The study funded by the recently established charity, Spencer Dayman Meningitis Research, will aim to provide evidence to aid the development of a successful vaccine. Invasive Group A streptococcus (iGAS) can cause meningitis, rheumatic fever causing heart disease, sepsis and several other life-threatening diseases. Latest data from 12th September 2022 to 18th June 2023 show there were 491 deaths across all age groups in England caused by iGAS during this period.

Group A Strep is also the main cause of scarlet fever causing over 58,000 cases in the same period. There is no vaccine available to protect against Group A strep and it is unclear which parts of the bacteria to include in a vaccine. Scientists Dr Anu Goenka, Dr Alice Halliday and Dr Darryl Hill have developed an innovative approach that uses a new technique called tonsil organoid model. Tonsils are part of the immune system which help fight infection.

The research involves growing cells from tonsils of patients which were removed during routine surgery. The team will collect the tonsils, separate the cells and then grow them in the laboratory alongside different parts of the Strep A bacteria. They will then measure the immune response to help them make decisions on which parts of the bacteria could be included in a successful vaccine.

Read more about the research here

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