About half the world’s population is at risk of catching malaria, and in 2010 alone around 660,000 people died from the disease. Fortunately, researchers in Australia recently made a breakthrough by developing the world’s first malaria vaccine. The vaccine is currently in the final stage of human trials, and hopes are high that people around the world might no longer have to live in fear of the hum of a mosquito.
Malaria treatment is difficult to maintain because the parasite changes, developing resistance to existing treatments. The best way to combat disease resistance is to develop a vaccine. In the past, developing one has been a challenge, but researchers have developed a new strategy. According to Professor Michael Good at Griffith University Institute for Glycomics, “Most vaccines we have stimulate antibodies but this vaccine doesn’t work that way, it stimulates T cells as opposed to antibodies.”
The vaccination has already been used to prevent malaria in animals and works against all strains of malaria. Developed by the Griffith University Institute for Glycomics and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, the vaccine could hit the market in as few as size years if all goes well with human trials.
via Herald Sun