Malaria vaccine development paves way for protective therapy
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Scientists have made a significant contribution towards the development of a vaccine to prevent malaria.
Researchers have tested a preliminary form of a vaccine against the disease, which is spread by the bite of the mosquito and kills more than 600,000 people each year.
Until now, developing malaria vaccines has been challenging. A vaccine must incorporate key proteins from the malaria parasites, which will trigger production of antibodies by the immune system. These proteins have a complex, intricate structure that is hard to reproduce.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have now found a novel way to produce proteins that could lead to malaria vaccines being easy and cheap to manufacture. They have grown them inside a tiny single-celled aquatic creature, whose biological make-up is similar to that of the malaria parasite. The organism, and the protein, can multiply quickly in the lab.
- Health Care