Malaria, a potentially deadly mosquito-borne infection, remains a problem in many parts of the world. Reducing infections has been challenging because no vaccine is currently available. Prevention efforts have mostly concentrated on eliminating the transmission vector, mosquitoes. A recent study published in Nature shows that a new vaccine for malaria is well tolerated by humans and can provide significant immunity to malaria.
Malaria is caused by infection of the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These are complex cells that have a number of means to evade the immune system, which has made the creation of vaccines challenging. To make this new vaccine, the parasites were first rendered harmless via radiation and then rapidly frozen for preservation. Healthy adult volunteers were given three doses of this vaccine at 28-day intervals before being challenged with exposure to the malaria parasite. Under these conditions, nine out of the nine immunized participants avoided a malaria infection.
Additionally, subjects who received non-optimized concentrations of the …