Malaria vaccine blocks transmission from mosquitoes to humans

Three leading malaria vaccine development organizations recently announced their plans to collaborate in assessing a vaccine candidate designed to prevent the transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans.

Researchers believe that this type of vaccine has the greatest potential to erase the threat of malaria and contribute to its eradication, according to

The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Immunization Research plan to conduct a joint Phase I clinical trial on healthy adults to assess the immunogenicity and safety of a protein called Pfs25 when used in a conjugated transmission-blocking vaccine against malaria.

The vaccine, known as TBV Pfs25, was developed at NIAID. It works by attempting to prevent the malaria parasite from developing within the mosquito, reports. The vaccine would not directly protect an individual from contracting the disease, but would reduce the chances that others in the community would get the disease by preventing the infection from spreading.

“This is the first clinical trial supported by MVI to use a transmission-blocking approach. This is the first step in what is typically a long process of evaluation,” Dr, Ashley Birkett of MVI said, reports. “Nonetheless, we are excited by the potential of TBVs to significantly limit the spread of malaria infection.

“Eradication of malaria may be decades away, but we believe a successful TBV - 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."