By Mary Engel
Researchers may be one step closer to a truly effective malaria vaccine, a new study suggests. A genetically modified malaria parasite worked as designed in its first human clinical trial, causing neither malaria nor serious safety problems in the 10 people who volunteered to be infected. It also stimulated an immune response that holds out promise of a more protective vaccine than the single candidate now in pilot studies
The Phase 1 study by scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CIDR), and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center was published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
“Our approach permanently and uniformly cripples the very complex malaria parasite so that it cannot cause disease and, instead, effectively primes the immune system,” CIDR’s Dr. Stefan Kappe, Affiliate Professor of Global Health and one of the paper’s main authors, said in a statement.