• Malaria vaccine proves successful in mice
    The new vaccine makes T-cells attack proteins found in all malaria strains

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)

Malaria vaccine proves successful in mice

Jul 09 2013

A trial of a new possible malaria vaccine has proved successful on mice. Researchers from Griffith University in Queensland have been working on a malaria vaccine, which will cause T-cells to attack the malaria parasite within red blood cells. The trial has seen several strains of the potentially deadly disease treated successfully by the vaccine.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and state that there was a high malaria immunity rate in the mice following one vaccination. It is hoped that the single vaccine will be suitable to protect against all strains of the disease by making the T-cells attack all types of malaria parasite.

Professor Michael Good, lead author of the study, said: "T-cells, when they're induced to kill malaria, can recognise proteins throughout the parasite, even internal proteins in the parasite. So that's where we think the novel aspect is: we've been able to induce a form of immune response which can recognise molecules in the parasite which are present in every single strain."

The new vaccine is possibly the first that is able to protect against two strains of malaria when trialled on mice, creating hopes that it can be further developed to help protect against all variants of the disease.

Around 219 million people contracted malaria in 2010, with around 660,000 of them dying from the disease, according to the World Health Organization. The majority of those that died were under five years old and from Africa. With further development the vaccine could help to save millions of lives.

As well as its ability to induce malaria attacking T-cells, the vaccine is also estimated to be cheap to manufacture. If it is approved for use on humans following clinical testing - it is expected to enter into phase one of human trials soon - the ease and low cost of manufacture could mean that it is easily accessible for those in poorer countries, who are most affected by the disease.  

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