Hope for a new malaria vaccine
ANTIBODIES that may hold the key to creating an effective malaria vaccination have been identified for the first time.
The malaria parasite carried by mosquitoes has a protein, called RH5, that must bind to another protein on human red blood cells, called basigin, in order to infect them.
In a study at Oxford University, researchers identified the human antibodies that block RH5, preventing the parasite from spreading through the blood.
Writing in the journal Cell, the scientists said there remains an urgent need to develop an effective malaria vaccine as the disease still kills around 430,000 people each year, despite the increasing use of bed nets, insecticides and drugs in malaria-endemic areas.