Developing a vaccine for malaria

Malaria mosquito

Southampton is part of efforts to prevent millions of deaths worldwide through a clinical trial evaluating three malaria vaccines.

Preventing malaria worldwide

Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite, which enters the body through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About 3.2 billion people – nearly half of the world's population – live in areas where malaria exists.

214 million cases are recorded each year, with those infected experiencing a high fever, headache, vomiting, sweats and chills. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening, particularly for pregnant women and children under five, and remains one of the world’s biggest killers, with around 438,000 deaths each year.

Although access to insecticide-treated nets and new treatments to tackle its effects are helping to reduce the number of cases and deaths, a malaria vaccine could give one-shot, lifelong protection from this deadly disease for everyone in malarial areas. 

Investigating new vaccines

This research study, led by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, who also work alongside the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, is evaluating how safe and effective three malaria vaccines are. The Jenner Institute was specifically founded to develop innovative vaccines against major global diseases. Professor Saul Faust is leading recruitment in Southampton.

Participants will be split into groups and given a vaccine. They will then receive a highly treatable strain of malaria in a safe and controlled setting, with full medical care and support to treat the infection.

The study team will observe them closely and perform tests to evaluate the vaccines’ protection. A follow-up test will explore how long any protection lasts.

To find out more information about this trial, please contact 023 8120 4989 or email UHS.RecruitmentCRF@nhs.net.

Posted on Monday 14 November 2016