Experimental vaccine provides protection against multiple malaria strains
The PfSPZ Vaccine used in this study was developed by Sanaria Inc. of Rockville, Maryland. The vaccine contains weakened P. falciparum sporozoites that do not cause infection but are able to generate a protective immune response against live malaria infection.
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, sponsored and co-conducted the Phase 1 clinical trial.
“An effective malaria vaccine will need to protect people living in endemic areas against multiple strains of the mosquito-borne disease,” NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said. “These new findings showing cross-protection with the PfSPZ Vaccine suggest that it may be able to accomplish this goal.”
Ongoing research will determine whether protective efficacy can be improved by changes to the PfSPZ Vaccine dose and number of immunizations, officials said.
Accordingly, a Phase 2 efficacy trial testing three different dosages in a three-dose vaccine regimen is now underway in 5-to 12-month-old infants in Western Kenya to assess safety and efficacy against natural infection.