News / Health

    Malaria Vaccine Offers Hope

    This undated photo supplied by WGBH/Nova shows a mosquito at work.
    This undated photo supplied by WGBH/Nova shows a mosquito at work.

    Related Articles

    Study: Pregnant Women Not Gaining Access to Malaria Prevention

    Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, responsible for deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year

    Audio Warmer Temps Trigger More Disease

    Scientists say climate change creating favorable environment for germs, pests
    VOA News
    An experimental malaria vaccine appears to offer protection against infection in healthy adults, according to U.S. researchers. The researchers also say early results indicate the vaccine is safe and “generated an immune response” in the group of volunteers tested.

    The vaccine, known as PfSPZ, is composed of live but weakened sporozoites of the species Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly of the malaria-causing parasites.

    Malaria is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. After the bite occurs, infectious malaria parasites in the immature, sporozoite stage of their life cycle, first travel to the liver, where they multiply, and then spread through the bloodstream.

    “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,” said Dr. Robert A. Seder, chief of the Cellular Immunology Section of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center and principal investigator of the trial.

    One potential drawback to the vaccine is that it appeared most effective when administered intravenously because lower doses given under the skin did not yield similar results.

    “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 optimize the dose, schedule and delivery route of the candidate vaccine,” said Seder.

    Fifty-seven adults between 18 and 45 years old took part in Phase One of the trial. Forty received the vaccine and 17 did not. Some of those who received the vaccine were given increasing doses. After seven days of monitoring, “no severe adverse effects associated with the vaccine occurred, and no malaria infections related to vaccination were observed.”

    Furthermore, those who received the most vaccine generated more antibodies against malaria, researchers said.

    Three weeks after the last dosage, participants -- both those who received the vaccine and the control group -- were exposed to bites from five mosquitoes carrying the P. falciparum strain from which the PfSPZ Vaccine was derived.

    The researchers found that the higher dosages of PfSPZ Vaccine were associated with protection against malaria infection. Only three of the 15 participants who received higher doses of the vaccine became infected, compared to 16 of 17 participants in the lower dose group who became infected. Among the 12 participants who received no vaccine, 11 participants became infected, researchers said.

    Researchers say they plan several follow-up studies to test dosage schedules and whether larger doses delivered under the skin can offer the same immune response.

    “The global burden of malaria is extraordinary and unacceptable,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the NIAID director. “Scientists and health care providers have made significant gains in characterizing, treating and preventing malaria; however, a vaccine has remained an elusive goal. We are encouraged by this important step forward.”

    The vaccine was developed by scientists at Sanaria Inc. The clinical evaluation was conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their collaborators at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Naval Medical Research Center.

    The results of the study were published in the August 8 issue of Science.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Nielsen's, Sina Weibo Team Up for Closer Look at Chinese Social Media

    US-based rating agency reaches deal with China's Twitter-like service to gauge marketing effectiveness on platform which has more than 200 million users

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Toogee from: South Lake Tahoe
    August 11, 2013 9:31 PM
    This pic shown is that of an Aedes aegypti, which vectors a few nasty pathogens like dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever, but isn't a primary vector of malaria, is it?

    by: kooni from: missipi
    August 11, 2013 6:50 PM
    they weren't actually bitten by the mosquito you idiot, there blood was tested with the malaria to see if the white cells respond to it.

    by: Cranksy from: USA
    August 09, 2013 1:31 PM
    "Three weeks after the last dosage, participants -- both those who received the vaccine and the control group -- were exposed to bites from five mosquitoes carrying the P. falciparum strain from which the PfSPZ Vaccine was derived." I read the linked material that stated "[t]his controlled human malaria infection procedure — a standard process in malaria vaccine trials...." Isn't this type of exposure considered unethical? Volunteers or not these people didn't simply remain or return to the places where they live their lives to be naturally exposed to P. falciparum "the most deadly form of the malaria-causing parasites."

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora