U.S. researchers say they have successfully tested a malaria vaccine on a small group of volunteers. The researchers say the vaccine is safe, that it caused a response in the volunteers' immune systems and that it protects against malaria infection in healthy adults.
People get malaria from a mosquito that is infected with malaria parasites. This vaccine contains weakened malaria parasites in an immature stage of their life cycle. Future studies will assess the different doses of the vaccine against other strains of parasites and will test for the length of time that the vaccine is effective.
The World Health Organization reports that malaria kills up to 800,000 people a year and that most deaths occur among children living in Africa. The WHO says in sub-Saharan Africa a child dies every minute from malaria.