Possible Malaria Vaccine Found


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        "British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is seeking regulatory approval for the world's first malaria vaccine after trial data showed that it had cut the number of cases in African children." After the trial results experts are very optimistic for a possibility of the first malaria vaccine.   
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        Malaria is a parasitic disease that is transmitted by mosquito bites. The disease kills hundreds of thousands of people each year world-wide. Tropical and subtropical places around the equator, which include Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas, are effected most by this disease. Mild malaria signs and symptoms don't usually show up until 8-25 days after infection. The symptoms are very similar to the flu, but one of the most common symptoms is called paroxysm, which is a cycle of coldness and shivering to a fever and sweating. Severe malaria is much worse and symptoms don't show up until 9-30 days. This type of malaria causes neurological symptoms, which include involuntary movements of limbs and eyes, seizures, or coma. After being infected for a while complications often occur for both severe and mild cases, which lead to about 25% adult deaths and 40% children deaths.
        The trial showed that the vaccine called RTS,S has lowered the amount of malaria cases in infants by 25% and halved the number of cases in young children that participated. RTS,S is being developed by GlaxoSmithKline with help from the non-profit Path Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The trial was the biggest clinical trial in Africa ever, which included about 15,500 children from seven countries. the vaccine has been underdevelopment for over 3 decades. The company has filed an application to the EMA under a process that aims to facilitate drugs to poor countries.  "Malaria is not just one of the world's biggest killers of children, it also burdens health systems, hinders children's development and puts a brake on economic growth. An effective malaria vaccine would have an enormous impact on the developing world." said UK politician Lynne Featherstone, International Development Minister.

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3 Comments

This is a very interesting topic you choose to blog about. I do not know much about Malaria, but this blog interested me. I am very pleased to hear that this new vaccine RTS'S was able to lower the amount of malaria in infants by 25% that is big! I know Malaria is the number one killer in Africa, and I am glad to hear that they are doing something about it. Malaria is treatable if diagnosed early enough but can be deadly if it is not. What are they doing about diagnosing people

I'm curious as to how expensive this vaccine would be for people especially in third-world countries. I traveled to Malawi, Africa this past summer and had to take pills of Doxycycline daily starting a week prior to traveling there and was supposed to continue taking them for the next 40 days. When I got home and went to college I slowly stopped taking the pills (oops) and realized I probably should have left them in Africa where perhaps someone could use them. All they were was a preventative drug but I'm not sure how differently it would work from this vaccine they possibly discovered. Regardless, I wonder how expensive the pills I had to take in comparison to something like a vaccine. Here's a link with information on the drug I had to take along with other malaria preventing pills: http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html

So I read your blog and decided to do some research of my own. I wrote about it here:http://www.personal.psu.edu/afr3/blogs/siowfa13/2013/10/have-we-found-the-savior-vaccine-for-the-babies-of-africa.html
So what i found was that the vaccine is not a sure shot cure yet which everyone is hoping it to be. It surely is really helpful and is going to be life safer but i do not think we can say that we are close to eradicating malaria from the world. That is probably a far shot for now. But what I learnt after reading about this was that the vaccine is going to save a lot of lives from clinical malaria as people usually survive when they're first hit by clinical malaria and therefore the pathogens in the body become resistive to the parasites come second time and the cases of clinical malaria come second time were as low as 1%. where as for other severe cases of malaria it surely brings down the rate to 10% but it still does not completely eradicate it. This report here is worth a read though time consuming and a bit complicated to understand. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa0807381#t=articleMethods

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