General, Research, Technology

Malaria vaccine successfully passed clinical trials

Mosquitoes are still the main carriermalaria. According to the World Health Organization, annually from 124 to 283 million people fall ill with malaria, of which up to 755 thousand cases are fatal. And as soon as scientists tried to fight the spread of this disease, they even tried to reduce the population of Anopheles malaria mosquitoes, but to no avail. And then, finally, a very promising vaccine against malaria has successfully passed clinical trials and is ready to be adopted by doctors.

Today, 90% of all infectionsmalaria are recorded on the African continent south of the Sahara desert. Mosquitoes spread in their body a parasite of the genus Plasmodium, which enter the human blood at the time of a bite. The parasite quickly penetrates the hepatocytes of the liver, giving rise to the preclinical stage of the disease. In the liver, the parasite grows and multiplies, and after 1-6 weeks (some strains reproduce in the liver up to 10 months) it enters the blood again. The patient at this time suffers from fever, chills, joint pain, vomiting and seizures. Plasmodia stimulate the victim's body to produce substances that attract other mosquitoes in order to carry the disease further. If the diagnosis is not established in time and treatment is not started, there is a serious risk of the patient's death.

Scientists have been working on for 20 yearsan effective malaria vaccine, and finally, good luck smiled at them. The new vaccine has shown efficacy against a dangerous disease, close to 100%. The breakthrough was made by researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany in collaboration with specialists from Sanaria Inc. Despite the fact that other scientists today have several alternative vaccines in development, this German serum was the first clinically successful.

The vaccine was tested on 67 adult test subjects,who have never had malaria before. Experimenting with different intervals of vaccine administration, scientists came to the conclusion that the most effective is its administration in three large doses at four-week intervals. In this subgroup of subjects, all participants retained 100% resistance to the disease even 10 weeks after the last injection. At the same time, not a single serious side effect of the vaccine was noted, and this despite the fact that it contains living plasmodia.

According to study author Peter Kremschner,protection is achieved by the production by the human body of specific T-lymphocytes and antibodies in response to the entry of parasites into the blood. The vaccine bypasses the incubation period of plasmodium multiplication in the liver, for which adult parasites are used immediately. The immune system begins to actively combat invasion and produces a natural and extremely effective shield against malaria. To prevent live parasites from intercepting the reins of government and not provoking the onset of the disease, scientists added chloroquine, an effective drug for malaria, to the vaccine.

Scientists are very pleased with the results of the firstclinical trials and want to consolidate the result in additional trials and studies. In a few years, the vaccine will be able to be used by doctors in countries where it is so needed.