Malaria Vaccine with 98% efficiency 3 years away from Human Trials

Aug 21st, 2009 | By | Category: Inspiring, Science

There is concern about how to pay for this vaccine when it is finally developed.  At a 98% rate of success at stopping the virus governments and aid groups around the world should be lining up to pay for this.  There is talk that this could eradicate Malaria which would be the single larger contributor to Africa’s success in human history, greater exponentially than all efforts before it combined.

To create the vaccine, Kumar’s group used genetically modified bacteria to make proteins identical to some of those involved in the parasite’s sexual development. They injected the proteins into mice and baboons, which generated antibodies. When the team added Plasmodium gametes to blood samples from these animals, the antibodies bound to and blocked the proteins. If a mosquito sucked up some of this blood it would still get a bellyful of the gametes, but they would be unable to combine and spawn new adult parasites.

One shot of the vaccine led to a 93 per cent reduction in malaria transmission, and the figure went up to 98 per cent after a booster shot (PLoS ONE, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006352).

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