New malaria vaccine shows promise, researchers say
A new kind of malaria vaccine has shown early promise by offering 100 percent protection to human volunteers who received a full regimen of doses, researchers said Thursday.
Maryland-based Sanaria's PfSPZ Vaccine contains "live, weakened, purified malaria parasites that do not cause illness," said a company statement.
In a complicated procedure, scientists dissected the salivary glands of mosquitoes to get at the parasites that cause malaria.
Unlike previous tests, the latest trial showed that injecting the vaccine into the bloodstream protected against malaria in all six volunteers who received a five-shot regimen at the highest dosage, according to the results published in the American journal Science.
The study was comprised of 57 people, including 40 who received the vaccine in varying doses and 17 controls.
The results are significant, because malaria infected some 220 million people in 2010 and killed 660,000 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Most of the deaths were among children in Africa.
A series of small clinical trials are now planned for Tanzania, Germany and the United States.