Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageWorld's first malaria vaccine tested

By Tim Sandle     Apr 24, 2017 in Health
The world's first vaccine against the parasitic disease malaria is to be tested in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi. This represents one of the biggest trials of a developmental drug.
The trial is to take place early in 2018. The vaccine has the aim of training the human body's immune system to attack the malaria parasite. This is when when the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite enter the human host’s bloodstream through a mosquito bite and proceed to infect liver cells. The vaccine is called RTS, S and it is marketed under the trade name trade name Mosquirix by GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines (a subdivision of the global pharmaceutical company).
The vaccien is made from a recombinant protein and ti is the world's first licensed malaria vaccine. The vaccine had a long development; it was first conceived during the 1980s by scientists in Belgium. As well as the direct funding from GSK, fudning for the vaccine has been supported by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
READ MORE: One million Gin and Tonics for World Malaria Day
Test in the labaotory setting confirm the vaccine efficacy to range from 26 to 50 percent, in children. On this basis the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), together with the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC), came together an recommended a pilot implementation of the vaccine in parts of Africa. This has led to the planned 2018 trial.
To reach optimal effectiveness the vaccine needs to be administered four times, on the basis of a dose once a month for three months and then a fourth dose 18 months later. The trials in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi will be overseen by the WHO and they will involve 750,000 children.
Speaking with the BBC about the intended trial, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, who is the WHO regional director for Africa, stated: "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot program will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine." He adds: "Combined with existing malaria interventions, such a vaccine would have the potential to save tens of thousands of lives in Africa."
More about Malaria, Vaccine, Health
 
Latest News
Top News