Malaria vaccine trial raises hope
Researchers are to expand a clinical trial of a new malaria vaccine after promising results in a preliminary study in Burkina Faso.
The trial was designed to test safety, but researchers found that vaccinated children had high levels of protection. Described as a “most encouraging” result, a larger study involving 800 children is now to take place in Mali.
The scientists involved say they are hopeful that the vaccine will ultimately be very cheap to produce.
Around a hundred different malaria vaccine candidates have been developed to date but the MSP3 vaccine tested in Burkina Faso is only the second one to show a substantial level of protection against the illness. The randomised, double blind study involved 45 children.
It set out to test the safety of the vaccine but this follow up study found that children who received it had an incidence of the disease three to four times lower than children who did not.
Initially the children were split into three groups, with two of them receiving the experimental malaria vaccine developed by Dr Pierre Druilhe at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
“Those two groups had very similar types of immune response, elicited by the vaccine, and the protection is almost identical, so it reinforces the confidence despite the fact that we are still dealing with a small group,” he said.
The vaccine is based on the fact that some adults in Africa acquire immunity because they are constantly exposed to the disease. Read the full article here
Source: BBC News
Category: World News |