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Malaria vaccine is safe, effective

September / October 2013 | Volume 12, Issue 5

Close up of mosquito biting a human, green background
Photo by James Gathany/CDC

A malaria vaccine candidate has passed a key milestone in an NIH-sponsored clinical trial, showing it is safe and, at high enough doses, can protect adults against disease.

The small-scale trial, held at NIH's Clinical Center and led by NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), tested the PfSPZ Vaccine developed by Sanaria Inc. based on live but weakened versions of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. All participants receiving the maximum vaccine coverage were protected, but infection arose among participants with lesser dosages.

Everyone infected was promptly treated and cured. Results were published online in Science. Researchers are planning additional studies.

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