Does Malaria Have a Vaccine?
While several types of vaccines have been developed for malaria, none of them is yet a sure-fire cure.
In this article, I’ll talk about the RTS, S vaccine, the Erythrocytic malaria vaccine, and the Monoclonal antibodies.
I’ll also touch on a few vaccine candidates.
The future of malaria vaccination is looking bleak. However, it is still possible.
RTS, S malaria vaccine
The RTS, S malaria vaccine aims to trigger the body’s immune system to protect against the disease.
The malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, enters the human bloodstream through a mosquito bite and infects liver cells.
The vaccine prevents the parasite from infecting the liver, where they mature and multiply, leading to malaria symptoms.
The disease may also be contracted through red blood cells.
Vaccines against malaria are increasingly available. These vaccines target the pre-erythrocytic stage of the parasite, which has yet to produce symptoms.
When these parasites enter the bloodstream, they multiply silently and cannot be detected by the host’s immune system.
The malaria antigens are then cloned into the genome of the virus and delivered to the target cell.
Once inside the host cell, the antigen is processed by MHCI molecules and presented to the immune system
Ally, the virus itself can induce a specific immune response.
Scientists have two approaches to mAbs in the context of a malaria vaccine.
In one approach, the goal is to find an antibody that can neutralize the parasite’s antigen, which would stop the parasite from transmitting to humans.
On the other, the goal is to find an antibody that can block the parasite’s transmission from mosquito to human.
Ultimately, both approaches could help prevent malaria.
Several vaccine candidates
There are several vaccine candidates for malaria in development.
A good vaccine candidate generates a substantial antibody and cell-mediated response to reduce malaria symptoms in patients and provide consistent future protection.
However, protozoa are more difficult to develop vaccines for than bacteria because of their complicated life cycles and complex structures.
Additionally, each stage of the parasite’s life cycle differs from the previous, presenting challenges for the development of a vaccine.
Efficacy of RTS, S
The efficacy of the RTS, S malaria vaccine was studied in Mozambique. It reduced malaria cases in children by one-third over four years.
However, it was less effective in infants under five months of age.
In general, the vaccine proved safe but showed safety signals including febrile convulsions, meningitis, and cerebral malaria.
However, further research is necessary to determine the efficacy of the RTS, S vaccine.
Availability of RTS, S in endemic areas
Despite the controversies surrounding RTS, S, the vaccine continues to be an important part of the global fight against malaria.
The vaccine has gained approval from the European Medicines Agency and received positive scientific opinion following the World Health Organization (WHO) pilot program in three malaria-endemic countries, including Ghana, Malawi, and Kenya.
However, the vaccine is still in its early stages and requires more testing before it can be widely deployed in malaria-endemic areas.
Future of malaria vaccines
The Future of Malaria Vaccines is a dream for many people. Until now, malaria vaccines have been a long way off.
Now, with new technologies available to scientists, there is hope for malaria vaccines.
A vaccine would help protect people from this disease, and it would be very useful to those in Africa.
While the current vaccines are in the experimental phase, these studies will help the field move forward.
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