The Mérieux Foundation launches a new multi-country research project to improve meningitis diagnosis

Assessing the impact of a panel of POC tests (point of care tests) for improved diagnosis of meningitis in children under 5-year-old is the objective of the MN Africa Dx study, recently launched by the Mérieux Foundation in Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire.

The Mérieux Foundation’s team conducted assessment visits to the partner sites, the Sorou Sanou University Hospital in Burkina Faso, the National Institute of Public Hygiene (INHP) in Côte d’Ivoire and the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon. These visits were an opportunity to present the study protocol, assess its feasibility and launch it.

The MN Arica Dx study aims to evaluate the feasibility and clinical value of rapid POC tests use in comparison to the current use in the participating countries’ hospitals. The choice of these three countries for the study was made as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire are located in the “meningitis belt,” a region in Africa where the prevalence of meningitis is very high.

Central nervous system (CNS) infections, including meningitis, are serious diseases with a high case-fatality rate and severe sequelae in half of the survivors. Their diagnosis remains complex and local data on their incidence and etiology are often not recent or even available, especially in infants and children.

A better understanding of the causes of infectious meningitis and meningoencephalitis would contribute to the optimization of the treatment of these infections, and therefore to more reliable patient outcomes.