Patient wearing a mask is given a plaster following a vaccination by doctor in white coat wearing gloves

BactiVac, the Bacterial Vaccine Network, is hosted at the University of Birmingham and has recently been awarded a new funding stream to continue its work fostering partnership, disseminates relevant information and provides catalyst project and training support with the aim of accelerating vaccine development for bacterial infections relevant to low middle-income countries (LMICs) 

The UK Vaccine Network (UKVN) Project, based at the Department of Health and Social Care, is a UK Aid project to accelerate the development of vaccines for diseases with epidemic potential in LMICs.

Bacterial infections kill over 8 million people each year and the development of new and better vaccines will reduce this devastating burden of disease. BactiVac was established in 2017, under the direction of Professors Calman MacLennan and Adam Cunningham, and now has over 1,800 members across 88 countries. BactiVac brings together academia, industry, policymakers and funders, 50% of whom are based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), in order to advance the development of vaccines against bacterial pathogens of global importance.

While viral pathogens have received most of the attention with respect to outbreak potential, bacteria also present an important outbreak threat. These may be respiratory, diarrhoeal, food or vector-borne, and can have bioterrorist potential. There is also the continued threat of an, as yet, unknown bacterial ‘pathogen X’.

The funding awarded by UKVN will be used to fund research catalyst projects focused on enhancing our epidemic preparedness against outbreaks of bacterial diseases.

Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England

“These catalyst awards will support the UK Vaccine Network’s aim to accelerate vaccine development for diseases of epidemic potential in low and middle-income countries.”


We’re delighted to be a Delivery Partner for the UK Vaccine Network. With UKVN’s support, we will be able to fund catalyst research projects focussed on the development of vaccines targeting bacterial pathogens with outbreak potential, which will help us prepare against future bacterial epidemics.

Professor Cal MacLennan, BactiVac Director

Professor Adam Cunningham, BactiVac Co-Director

“We are grateful to the UK Vaccine Network for their generous support and for sharing BactiVac’s vision that bacterial vaccines have a critical role to play in controlling bacterial infections. BactiVac will continue to support its membership to develop new vaccines, particularly those that are relevant to LMICs.”