A malaria vaccine has shown promising results in early stage clinical trials, a study suggests.
Researchers found the vaccine, which is being developed in the US, protected 12 out of 15 patients from the disease, when given in high doses.
The method is unusual because it involves injecting live but weakened malaria-causing parasites directly into patients to trigger immunity.
The research is published in the journal Science.
Lead author Dr Robert Seder, from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, in Maryland, said: “We were excited and thrilled by the result, but it is important that we repeat it, extend it and do it in larger numbers.”
It has been known for several decades that exposure to mosquitoes treated with radiation can protect against malaria.
However, studies have shown that it takes more than 1,000 bites from the insects over time to build up a high level of immunity, making it an impractical method of widespread protection.
Instead, a US biotech company called Sanaria has taken lab-grown mosquitoes, irradiated them and then extracted the malaria-causing parasite (Plasmodium falciparum), all under the sterile conditions.
They are clearly very early stage trials in small numbers of volunteers, but without question we are extremely encouraged by the results”
Dr Ashley BirkettPath Malaria Vaccine Initiative
These living but weakened parasites are then counted and placed in vials, where they can then be injected directly into a patient’s bloodstream. This vaccine candidate is called PfSPZ.
To carry out the Phase-1 clinical trial, the researchers looked at a group of 57 volunteers, none of whom had had malaria before.
Of these, 40 received different doses of the vaccine, while 17 did not. They were then all exposed to the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
The researchers found that for the participants not given any vaccine, and those given low doses, almost all became infected with malaria.
However for the small group given the highest dosage, only three of the 15 patients became infected after exposure to malaria.
Dr Robert Seder said: “Based on the history, we knew dose was important because you needed 1,000 mosquito bites to get protection – this validates that.
“It allows us in future studies to increase the dose and alter the schedule of the vaccine to further optimise it. The next critical questions will be whether the vaccine is durable over a long period of time and can the vaccine protect against other strains of malaria.”
The Latest on: Malaria vaccine
- 3 African countries trying out 1st malaria vaccine in babieson January 17, 2020 at 3:11 pm
3 African countries trying out 1st malaria vaccine in babies Spread by mosquito bites, malaria kills more than 400K people every year, two-thirds of them under 5 and most in Africa Check out this ...
- First ever malaria vaccine tried out in babies in 3 African nationson January 16, 2020 at 11:55 pm
TOMALI, Malawi — A pinch in the leg, a squeal and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history’s deadliest and most ...
- 1st malaria vaccine tried out in babies in 3 African nationson January 16, 2020 at 10:47 am
TOMALI, Malawi (AP) — A pinch in the leg, a squeal and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history’s deadliest and most ...
- Three African nations roll out first malaria vaccine in closely watched trialon January 16, 2020 at 8:55 am
TOMALI, Malawi — A pinch in the leg, a squeal, and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history’s deadliest and most ...
- First malaria vaccine tried out in babies in 3 African nationson January 16, 2020 at 8:05 am
A pinch in the leg, a squeal and a trickle of tears. One baby after another in Malawi is getting the first and only vaccine against malaria, one of history’s most deadly and stubborn diseases. The ...
- First malaria vaccine given to babies in Africaon January 16, 2020 at 6:04 am
Babies in three African nations are getting the first and only vaccine for malaria in a pilot program. World health officials want to see how well the vaccine works in Malawi, Ghana and Kenya before ...
- Ned Nwoko takes Malaria-free Africa campaign to Antarcticaon January 9, 2020 at 10:19 am
He added that the long-term plan was investing in the development of an anti-malaria vaccine, as the foundation planned to establish Academic Research Grants for Malaria Vaccine in universities ...
- Injecting a TB vaccine into the blood, not the skin, boosts its effectivenesson January 1, 2020 at 10:14 am
After his success with an intravenous malaria vaccine in another trial, researchers wondered: If they injected BCG vaccine directly into the blood, where it could travel throughout the body ...
- Hope in the new year as malaria vaccines lined up for clinical trialson December 30, 2019 at 4:00 pm
There is hope of an affordable, safe, easy-to-administer and effective malaria vaccine soon. As this year comes to an end, we remain hopeful that malaria, an infectious disease that kills 1,200 ...
- Scientists close in on malaria vaccineon November 15, 2019 at 7:44 am
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria. Scientists have taken another big step forward towards ...
via Google News and Bing News