Malaria vaccine to get human trial

Dec. 6, 2011 at 7:52 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Three U.S. health institutions say they've joined to evaluate a potential vaccine designed to prevent transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans.

The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research will collaborate to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy adults to assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, a PATH release said Tuesday.

The Pfs25 vaccine aims to block transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans by preventing the malaria parasite from developing in the mosquito, researchers said.

"This is the first clinical trial supported by MVI to use a transmission-blocking approach," Ashley Birkett, director of research and development at MVI, said. "Eradication of malaria may be decades away, but we believe a successful TBV [transmission-blocking vaccine] -- used alongside safe and effective drugs, insecticides, bed nets and possibly a malaria vaccine that protects the individual against infection and disease -- would be essential to achieving that goal."

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