New Malaria Vaccine Made from Mosquito Spit
One ofِ the moreِ promising avenues ofِ creating a vaccine forِ malaria involves goingِ inside mosquitoes’ bodies — typically theِ source ofِ the disease’s spread — to develop theِ key component ofِ the vaccine.
A clinical trial ofِ such a vaccine showed thatِ itِ was safe, butِ that itِ didn’tِ confer immunity toِ enoughِ of theِ study participants.
To ourِ minds, thatِ means 80 percent protective, preferably 90 percent protective, forِ atِ least sixِ months, preferably forِ several years, saidِ study researcher Stephen L.
Using mosquitoes to make a vaccine
Creating a malaria vaccine withinِ theِ bodies ofِ mosquitoes isِ anِ idea thatِ hasِ shown promise sinceِ the 1970s, whenِ itِ was firstِ rigorously studied.
Malaria isِ spread viaِ mosquitoes: When anِ infected insect bites, itِ passes theِ malaria parasite, called Plasmodium falciparum, intoِ human blood.
And transmission viaِ mosquito bite isِ alsoِ a problem, givenِ the sheer number ofِ such bites needed toِ deliver immunity.
In the animal experiments using the intravenous vaccine, 71 percent to 100 percent developed immunity.
Worldwide, thereِ areِ 300 million malaria cases andِ 1 million deaths eachِ year, theِ study said.
But theِ approach shows promise, saidِ Dr.
Anna Durbin, anِ associate professor ofِ international health atِ the Bloomberg School ofِ Public Health atِ Johns Hopkins University.
Not effective enough
Going forward, Durbin said, a clinical trial isِ needed inِ which theِ vaccine isِ injected intravenously.
Robert Seder, whoِ led theِ NIH researchers inِ the animal experiments, saidِ that evenِ if anِ intravenous vaccine cannotِ beِ scaled upِ forِ mass immunization inِ countries whereِ malaria isِ endemic, thereِ would beِ a market among someِ Americans forِ it.
They couldِ get intravenous vaccines] ratherِ than havingِ to takeِ medicine forِ years andِ years, saidِ Seder, referring toِ theِ availableِ malaria medicines, whichِ mustِ beِ taken daily orِ weekly asِ long asِ a person isِ inِ anِ infected region.
The NIH will begin intravenous human vaccine trials this fall.
There’s stillِ goingِ to beِ those problems, butِ we’re mowing downِ the hurdles oneِ byِ one, Seder said.
I’m cautiously optimistic thatِ this isِ something thatِ will beِ much better, butِ we haveِ to see.
This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site toِ LiveScience.