Malaria Vaccine Passes Initial Test

About 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year

German researchers have discovered an effective vaccine that offers up to 100 per cent protection from malaria.

A clinical trial for the Sanaria PfSPZ-CVac vaccine has proven to be effective after 10 weeks from last dose.

The search for a malaria vaccine has been under way for more than a century. Such a vaccine could stop the spread of resistance to the treatment, and to better protect travelers.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

For the clinical trial, Professor Peter Kremsner and Dr. Benjamin Mordmüller of the Institute of Tropical Medicine and the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) used malaria parasites.

This vaccine candidate incorporated fully viable, not weakened or otherwise inactivated, malaria pathogens together with the medication to combat them. The Plasmodium falciparum parasite is transmitted by the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Professor Kremsner explained: “The 100 percent protection was probably caused by specific T-lymphocytes and antibody responses to the parasites in the liver.”

According to the World Malaria Report 2016 released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 214 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 438,000 people died. Nearly three-quarters of those who die from malaria are children under five.

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According to the WHO, about 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year. The vast majority of cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Most antimalarials act in the bloodstream to suppress clinical symptoms by inhibiting parasite development in red blood cells. Regardless of duration of stay in a Malarious area, antimalarials should be taken by all travelers.

The regimen for all Malaria medications include the need to be taken before arrival, during the visit, and after departure from a Malaria risk area.

The world’s first malaria vaccine will be rolled out in pilot projects in sub-Saharan Africa. The vaccine, known as RTS,S, acts against P. falciparum, the most deadly malaria parasite.

RTS,S is the first malaria vaccine to successfully complete Phase 3 testing.

RTS,S also known as Mosquirix™ was developed through a partnership between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and from a network of African research centres.

The ADI malaria proteome microarray developed and used in this study is part of a project supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The trial itself was supported by the German Centre for Infection Research and Sanaria.