Malaria Vaccines

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Last reviewed
January 24, 2022

Malaria Vaccines and Candidates

According to the U.S. CDC, Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite that can now be prevented with a new vaccine. However, this is the first time that a vaccine has been recommended to combat malaria, said the CDC.

On October 6, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the RTS,S malaria vaccine for sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high malaria transmission.

The Gavi Board approved an investment to support the introduction, procurement, and delivery of malaria vaccines for eligible countries in sub-Saharan Africa in 2022-2025. An initial investment of US$ 155.7 million will initiate the implementation of this new vaccine to "help drive down child mortality in Africa."

Malaria Vaccines

Mosquirix RTS,S/AS01 Malaria Vaccine - GSK's Mosquirix RTS, S/AS01 is a recombinant vaccine consisting of the P. falciparum circumsporozoite protein from the pre-erythrocytic stage. Mosquirix aims to trigger the immune system to defend against the first stages when the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite enters the human host's bloodstream through a mosquito bite and infects liver cells.

Malaria Vaccine Candidates

R21 / Matrix-M Malaria Vaccine - Serum Institute of India's R21 vaccine candidate, is produced by expressing recombinant HBsAg virus-like particles in Hansenula polymorpha, comprising the central repeat and the C-terminus of the circumsporozoite protein fused to the N-terminal end of HBsAg10. 

RH5.1/AS01 Malaria Vaccine - RH5.1/AS01 is a novel recombinant malaria antigen developed at the University of Oxford.

mRNA Malaria Vaccine - Announced July 26, 2021, BioNTech wants to build on its success in COVID-19 by developing the first vaccine for malaria based on mRNA technology and aims to start clinical testing by the end of 2022 in an attempt to eradicate the mosquito-borne illness.

Malaria Vaccine News

January 17, 2022 - The Lancet published a review that concluded by stating 'individualized conservative fluid management is recommended in patients with severe malaria.' This study focused on fluid therapy as an essential supportive measure for patients with severe malaria. Patients with severe malaria usually have an average cardiac index, vascular resistance, blood pressure, and a small degree of hypovolaemia due to dehydration. Cell hypoxia, reduced kidney function, and acidosis result from microcirculatory compromise and malarial anemia, which reduce tissue oxygenation, not hypovolaemia. Hence, aggressive fluid loading does not correct acid-base status, enhance kidney function, or improve patient outcomes, and it risks complications such as pulmonary oedema.

December 6, 2021 - According to WHO's latest World malaria report, there were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627 000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020. 

November 30, 2021 - BMC reported in a historically high transmission setting; a marked reduction followed the implementation of highly effective vector control interventions in antibiotic treatment of children. This added benefit of malaria control could have important implications for antibiotic prescribing practices, efforts to curtail antimicrobial resistance, and health system costs.

November 18, 2021 - The Lancet published a study: Assessment of experimental malaria vaccine-induced protection in pre-exposed populations. In the field of P falciparum malaria vaccine development, the availability of controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) model has helped to systematically select vaccine candidates, including the advanced subunit vaccines RTS,S (now recommended by WHO), R21, and the whole, live organism-based vaccine, PfSPZ Vaccine, for further clinical development.

November 17, 2021 - A presentation was given at the 70th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. This study was conducted better to characterize COVID-19 in a high malaria transmission setting and to determine the burden/describe the clinical impact of SARS-CoV-2 and malaria co-infection. Conclusion: Though Covid-19 patients with P. falciparum infection had a higher frequency of confusion and vomiting, co-infection with malaria did not seem harmful. Low previous malaria exposure was associated with severe/critical Covid-19 and adverse outcomes.

October 29, 2021 - The World Health Organization endorsed the first-ever vaccine against malaria. This achievement is the product of 30 years of research and development.