A new vaccine which is at an investigational stage at the moment has proved to be cent percent effective in protecting adults from contracting malaria.
The vaccine, called PfSPZ, reportedly has no side effects. It is being developed by a US based biotech company Sanaria. The main constituent of PfSPZ is Plasmodium falciparum; a diluted form of the live parasite that is responsible for causing malaria.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Naval Medical Research Center are supporting Sanaria in developing the vaccine.
The clinical trials revealed that those participants who received higher doses of PfSPZ developed more antibodies against the malaria parasite’s proteins vis-à-vis their counterparts who received smaller doses of the vaccine.
The promising results that have been derived so far are from a trial of only 40 adults. However the institutions behind the vaccine are confident that PfSPZ could pave the way for 100 percent protection against malaria.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID claimed that the tests are an “important step forward” in controlling malaria.
Further Research Required
Dr. Robert Seder of the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health said that the success of the first stage clinical trials opens the doors to “increase the dose and alter the schedule of the vaccine to further optimize 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.”
Malaria is a vector borne disease and affects more than half-a-billion people world-wide. The disease accounts for as many as three million deaths every year.
The results of the clinical trials have been published in the journal Science