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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Malaria vaccine hope

Friday August 9th, 2013

A new malaria vaccine has shown promise in early trials, researchers reported last night.

The first human trials of the vaccine involved some 57 healthy volunteers.

Researchers said it proved to be safe and seemed to offer protection against malarial infection in healthy adults.

The vaccine uses live but weakened cells of the most deadly malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

The researchers said most vaccinated volunteers did not develop malaria. As part of the study the volunteers agreed to be bitten by malaria carrying mosquitoes.

Out of 15 who received high doses of the vaccine, three developed malaria. Out of 17 who received low doses, some 16 were infected. Another 17 volunteers were not vaccinated and were also infected.

Researchers said all were successfully treated for malaria.

The research, reported in Science last night was undertaken by the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

The vaccine known as PfSPZ uses the infectious cells of the parasite, known as sporozoites.

The researchers say that one problem is that the vaccine needs injection into the veins rather than under the skin.

Researcher Dr Robert Seder said: "Despite this challenge, these trial results are a promising first step in generating high-level protection against malaria, and they allow for future studies to optimise the dose, schedule and delivery route of the candidate vaccine.

"In this trial, we showed in principle that sporozoites can be developed into a malaria vaccine that confers high levels of protection and is made using the good manufacturing practices that are required for vaccine licensure."

Protection Against Malaria by Intravenous Immunization with a Nonreplicating Sporozoite Vaccine. Science 9 August 2013

Tags: North America | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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