Malaria disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquito vectors. According to the WHO, about 3.4 billion people – half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria.
A large-scale phase III clinical trial of the malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS01, published in PLOS Medicine shows that the most clinically advanced malaria vaccine RTS,S, continued to protect young children and infants from clinical malaria up to 18 months after vaccination.
The study included 8,923 children aged 5 to 17 months and 6,537 infants aged 6 to 12 weeks and showed continued protection during 18 months of follow-up. The candidates were randomly assigned to receive three doses of RTS,S/AS01 or comparator vaccine. Vaccine efficacy was evaluated independently at the eleven centers located at seven different African countries participating in the trial.
The researchers reported vaccine efficacy of 45% in children aged 5-17 months, and 27% vaccine efficiency in infants aged 6-12 weeks, during 18 months following vaccination. Vaccine efficacy was highest in the first 6 months after vaccination, in both age groups.
The lead authors of the study also noted that “Translated to the population at risk of malaria, reductions in clinical cases on this scale as a result of vaccination with RTS,S/AS01 would have a major public health impact”.
Early diagnosis and on-time treatment can prevent malarial deaths and reduce malaria transmission to a certain extent. QBC Malaria Test System from QBC Diagnostics provides improved visibility of malaria parasites by using QBC capillary tube technology. The system also provides benefits such as increased specificity, greater sensitivity, reduced training times, and simple set-up and review.