National
Scientists close to developing anti-malaria vaccine
Publish Date: May 26, 2014
Scientists close to developing anti-malaria vaccine
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - Researchers have discovered an antibody-generating protein that could help prevent multiplication of malaria parasites inside the body, giving new hope for a vaccine, a study said Thursday.

The protein could aid scientists in their work fighting the most severe forms of malaria, a disease that kills more than 600,000 people each year, particularly young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Named PfSEA-1, the protein, whose presence spurs the body's formation of antibodies, was linked to a reduced level of parasites in a number of children and adults in regions of Africa where malaria is endemic, according to the study published in the US journal Science.

Mice exposed to the protein in an experimental vaccine showed decreased levels of parasites in their blood.

The discovery of the protein could add to a limited pool of antigens used in potential malaria vaccines, said scientists who conducted the study at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


A medic testing a patient for malaria

The antibodies generated by the protein halt the malaria parasite as it leaves one red blood cell to invade the other, preventing it from multiplying.

Populations living in areas where malaria is common often develop natural immune responses that limit the number of parasites in the blood and prevent high fever and severe symptoms.

Researchers based their study on blood samples from two-year-old Tanzanian children who were either resistant or susceptible to malaria.

After performing genetic analysis and a series of laboratory tests, the researchers identified PfSEA-1 and confirmed that it stopped infection by malaria parasites after they had entered red blood cells.

The scientists then vaccinated five groups of mice with the protein and found that it lowered parasite levels and allowed the mice to survive longer than those who weren't vaccinated.

In addition, the researchers measured the level of antibodies in plasma samples from 453 Tanzanian children and found no cases of serious malaria where a detectable level of PfSEA-1 antibodies was present in the blood.

The researchers also analyzed plasma samples from 138 males age 12 to 35 living in high-malaria areas in Kenya and found that those with detectable traces of the antibody had parasite levels 50 percent lower compared with those without the antibodies.

RELATED ARTICLES

Global warming amplifying malaria risk

18,000 schools in malaria fight

100,000 Ugandans die of malaria every year - minister

Malaria is the leading cause of illness and death in Uganda

Involve traditional leaders to combat malaria-Speaker

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
14 killed in DR Congo machete attack
THE incursion by the Ugandan rebel group ADF took place overnight in the town of Kampi ya Chui....
Businessman sues UNRA over Entebbe Expressway
A businessman has dragged UNRA to court seeking sh5b in damages for loss of business and the inconvenience over the construction of the Entebbe Expressway....
US Commander of Africa Forces visits
President Yoweri Museveni has said that the main challenge in Somalia today was clan-related issues. The President made the remarks at State House Entebbe in a meeting with the United States of America Commander of Africa Forces, General David Rodriguez....
Museveni hails Uganda-North Korea ties
President Yoweri Museveni describes the North Koreans as friends who have helped Uganda for a long time on visit of one of its leaders....
Slain Unilever boss mourned
Speaker after speaker described Makanga as a smart, classy, humble, respectful, joyful, hardworking man at his funeral in Kampala....
Muntu warns Mafabi, Nabila over media exchanges
ACCORDING to John Kikonyogo, the party spokesperson, Muntu said discussing the issues in the media was affecting the image of the party...
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter