The potential vaccine introduces live malaria parasites into patients, paired with the medication needed to combat them.
Last year, the World Health Organisation announced that a pilot programme involving the world’s first licensed malaria vaccine – RTS,S, also known as Mosquirix – would be rolled out in three sub-Saharan African countries in 2018.
Regardless of which one ultimately ends up offering better protection, the reality is that after more than a century, we’re finally getting really close to not just one, but two viable malaria vaccines hitting the market.
Different doses of the vaccine candidate were tested, and the best protection was seen in nine people who were given the highest dose of the vaccine three times at four-week intervals.
The liver is particularly important in malaria infection, because after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito, the parasite spreads to the liver where it reproduces before exploding back into the body and causing malaria.
Drug development is an incredibly lengthy and expensive process, and it seems that when it comes to a malaria vaccine, we’re finally getting to the pointy end.