Protein group prime candidate for potent malaria vaccineJanuary 19th, 2010 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Jan 19 (IANS) Researchers have discovered a protein group that could be worked into the first ever potent malaria vaccine.
Presently no vaccine against malaria is available, but it could be developed with the help of the latest findings.
Transmitted by pesky female mosquitoes, malaria infects blood cells, particularly that of young children, with the most prevalent type being caused by Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite.
Besides being “an enormous health burden, malaria also has a major impact on social and economic development in countries where the disease is endemic,” said James Beeson, Infection and Immunity division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI).
“Vaccines are urgently needed to reduce the burden of malaria and perhaps eventually eradicate the disease,” added Beeson, who led the study.
Malaria parasites burrow into red blood cells by producing specific proteins. Once inside red blood cells, the parasites rapidly multiply, leading to massive numbers of parasites in the blood stream that can cause severe disease and death.
Beeson, Freya Fowkes and Jack Richards from WEHI, along with Julie Simpson from the Melbourne University, have identified such protein group that are effective at promoting immune responses to protect people from malaria, said a WEHI release.
Their findings are published today in PLoS Medicine.
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