Experimental malaria vaccine shows early promise | ReutersPosted: December 20, 2011
“Vaccines against malaria are notoriously difficult to develop,” said Adrian Hill of Britain’s Oxford University, who worked on the vaccine research team.
This vaccine builds on work published last month by the same team, who pinpointed a single receptor for a protein called RH5 that is critical for the malaria parasite to gain entry into red blood cells where it multiplies and spreads.
The researchers said in November they thought that by blocking this process, they could halt the disease in its tracks – and Tuesday’s results confirm their thinking.
“What’s exciting about RH5 is that we’ve shown that antibodies against this protein have so far knocked down every parasite we’ve been able to test in the laboratory,” Simon Draper of Oxford’s Jenner Institute, who also worked on the study, said in a telephone interview.