Infections account for  more than 20% of all deaths worldwide, and are particularly problematic in low-middle income countries (LMICs). 

Cost-effective approach

Bacterial infections contribute significantly to this burden, killing approximately five million people annually. The crisis of antimicrobial resistance means our options for controlling infections is narrowing. Vaccines save millions of lives yearly and are a cost-effective approach to prevent infectious diseases and their devastating consequences. 

There are many bacterial infections against which we lack any licensed vaccine. To address these issues, the MRC and BBSRC, through the Global Challenges Research Fund, have funded a number of vaccine-related networks. The University of Birmingham network, BactiVac, was launched in August 2017 following the award of £2.2 million and is led by Professors Cal MacLennan and Adam Cunningham, of the University’s Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy.

Projects and training catalyst funding

‘Our purpose is to establish a global bacterial vaccinology network. Through this, we will accelerate the development of vaccines against bacterial infections, particularly those relevant to LMICs. 

‘The BactiVac network will bring together academic, industrial and other partners involved in vaccine research against human and animal bacterial infections from the UK and LMICs.

‘The network will foster partnership and provide catalyst project and training funding to encourage cross-collaboration between academic and industrial partners.’