Malaria vaccine that protects against all known strains set to be launched

A new malaria vaccine developed to protect against all known strains of the disease was recently launched by Australia’s Griffith University Institute for Glycomics.

PlasProtecT, to be officially launched at the opening of the Institute’s new Laboratory of Vaccines for the Developing World, utilizes a chemical treatment that puts malaria parasites “to sleep,” according to HealthCanal.com.

The sleeping parasites are to be administered to volunteers in Phase I human vaccine trials within the next 12 months. The treatment is expected to produce an immune response that will protect against all known strains of the disease.

Professor Michael Good, the lead researcher of PlasProtecT, said that previous attempts to find a silver bullet solution to malaria have all failed.

"Our approach has entailed putting the parasite to sleep by using a new class of chemical compounds that target certain DNA sequences in the parasite,” Good said, HealthCanal.com reports. "The sleeping parasite is then injected in very small doses and we have observed very strong immune responses that can protect from multiple strains and species of the parasite, thus potentially overcoming the major hurdle to developing a vaccine.

"Malaria kills one million children per year, most of whom are in the developing world. Our approach to vaccine development could lead to a significant reduction in the global burden of malaria."