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Malaria Vaccine For Adults Provides 100% Protection

Update Date: Feb 17, 2017 07:30 AM EST

A new study has discovered a vaccine that can give 100 percent protection in adults against malaria. The study was published on Wednesday in the journal Lancet Infectioius Diseases. The study involved 67 volunteers who were naturally exposed to the parasite that caused malaria in Mali, Africa.

The PfSPZ Vaccine contains live but weakened sporozoites, the form of the parasite that infects humans. It was developed by scientists at Sanaria Inc. of Rockville, Maryland. Nine of the participants who received the highest dose of PfSPZ displayed best immune response that showed complete protection.

The study was conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of Science, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB), Mali. It is one of the institute's International Centers of Excellence in Malaria Research.

iTV reported that in 2015, a reported 214 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide. African children under five years old and 483,000 people died of malaria last year according to the World Health Organization. Almost 2,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year.

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and symptoms include chills, fever, headache, nausea, sweating and fatigue. The PfSPZ Vaccine generates an immune response to protect the body from malaria infection. The vaccine is safe and can protect individuals from malaria infection for up to a year.

According to Eureka Alert, the study started in January 2014 in Donéguébougou village, Mali, where healthy African men and non-pregnant women aged 18 to 35 years old volunteered. The first 41 participants were given five doses of the PfSPZ Vaccine and the 40 participants were given five doses of placebo over five months. They were closely monitored during the six-month rainy season where malaria transmission usually occurs.

No serious side effects were found among the participants during the study. The results showed 93 percent of the participants who were given placebo developed malaria infection. Only 66 percent of those who received PfSPZ Vaccines developed malaria infection. The analysis showed the PfSPZ Vaccine demonstrated 48 percent protective efficiency.

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