A new malaria vaccine injected for the first time into humans completely protected six of six test subjects. Whereas five of six unvaccinated test subjects in the same conditions, came down with the disease. That’s 100% success. That’s huge. Far better than any other potential vaccine for malaria ever tested.
It’s expensive to make, has to be kept frozen in liquid nitrogen like livestock semen, and has to be injected (five times) intravenously (but in very small doses). So it’s not perfect. But malaria has probably killed more human beings, since there were human beings, than any other cause, bar none. In those terms it is our species worst enemy. And the last best cocktail of drugs to prevent it that we have at the moment, based on artemisia, are rapidly losing efficacy in the Golden Triangle, which is where all malaria resistance seems to start before it spreads.
Okay you could look at this as a mixed blessing: if more people who survive malaria then the planet will have… more people on it, but… on the whole them who been dying most from malaria been given Gaia trouble least.
PfSPZ was developed by Sanaria, a company based in Rockville, Maryland, and led by Stephen Hoffman, a veteran malaria researcher who also led the PfSPZ clinical trial. Most malaria-vaccine candidates are recombinant-subunit vaccines containing just a handful of parasite proteins, but Hoffman decided to test the whole-sporozoite vaccine on the basis of past experiments dating back to the 1970s showing that strong and long-lived protection could be obtained by exposing volunteers to thousands of bites from irradiated infected mosquitoes
That the vaccine works so well is a “pivotal success,” says Stefan Kappe, a malaria researcher at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute in Washington.”The trial results constitute the most important advance in malaria vaccine development since the first demonstration of protection with radiation attenuated sporozoite immunization by mosquito bite in the 70s.