Throughout the malaria season, Mali's population is naturally exposed to the deadliest form of the disease, Plasmodium falciparum malaria. The vaccine, PfSPZ Vaccine, contains weakened, living sporozoites, the infectious form of the parasite. It was developed by Sanaria Inc. of Rockville, Maryland.
“Considerable progress has been made in the global fight against malaria within the past decade, yet far too many people — particularly young African children — continue to become infected and die from the disease,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said. “A safe, effective vaccine to protect against this mosquito-borne illness would greatly help efforts to bring the disease under control.”
The World Health Organization identified 429,000 deaths from malaria in 2015, mostly African children under 5 years of age. The number of cases worldwide reached 212 million.
The study’s findings were published in the February 15 issue of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Investigational malaria vaccine shows promise
An investigational malaria vaccine protected "a significant proportion" of adults in Mali, Africa, where it is being tested by researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIH reported recently.