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Researchers in Australia are a step closer to malaria vaccine



 by Joseph Earnest July 2, 2013


Newscast Media SYDNEYAustralian researchers on Tuesday announced a breakthrough in the development of a malaria vaccine, with a study showing their treatment had protected mice against strains of the disease.

The scientists tested a drug which blocked the ability of the malaria parasite to replicate and induced a "profound immunity" in mice after a single vaccination.

If successfully applied to human malaria parasites, the vaccine could have a significant impact in poor countries where the disease kills thousands every year.

Michael Good, co-author of the study from Griffith University in Queensland, said the research was focused on inducing white blood cells to attack the parasite, which lives in red blood cells, whatever the malaria strain is.

"The T-cells (white blood cells), when they're induced to kill malaria, can recognize proteins throughout the parasite, even internal proteins in the parasite," Good told local media.

"So that's where we think the novel aspect is: we've been able to induce a form of immune response which can recognize molecules in the parasite which are present in every single strain."

The next stage of the research will involve testing a vaccine targeting human malaria species. Once perfected, the vaccine is expected to be cheap and easy to manufacture, said Good.

About 3.3 billion people, or half of the world's population, are at risk of malaria, according to the World Health Organization.

While increased prevention and control have led to a reduction in mortality rates by over 25 percent since 2000, an estimated 660, 000 people died of malaria in 2010, with 219 million cases reported.     Add Comments>>

Source: Xinhua                                     





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