Whole malaria parasite vaccine found to be safe

A new clinical trial has shown that a malaria vaccine that uses the entire malaria parasite to be safe and effective.

The vaccine, which produced strong immune responses in the trial, differs from other experimental malaria vaccines in that it utilizes the entire parasite, as opposed to just a few of its proteins, according to

It is the first whole parasite malaria vaccine to be approved for trials by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The intravenous drug has the potential to provide unprecedented levels of protection against the deadly tropical disease, according to Dr. Kirsten Lyke, an associate professor of medicine and research scientist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

“This is the first whole organism malaria vaccine ever produced,” Lyke said, reports. “This vaccine showed strong promise. We hope that with further study it could help revolutionize the field and prevent death and illness from malaria worldwide, and be used to eliminate malaria from certain areas.

“No vaccine has completely protected against malaria in a challenge trial, in which vaccinated volunteers are subjected to the bite of an infected mosquito to measure their immunity."

A study of the clinical trial was recently published online in the journal Science.