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Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis. 2012;4(1):e2012015. doi: 10.4084/MJHID.2012.015. Epub 2012 Mar 10.

Approaching the target: the path towards an effective malaria vaccine.

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  • 1Preventative Medicine and Epidemiology Unit, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain.


Developing an effective malaria vaccine has been the goal of the scientific community for many years. A malaria vaccine, added to existing tools and strategies, would further prevent infection and decrease the unacceptable malaria morbidity and mortality burden. Great progress has been made over the last decade and a number of vaccine candidates are in the clinical phases of development. The RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate, based on a recombinant P. falciparum protein, is the most advanced of such candidates, currently undergoing a large phase III trial. RTS,S has consistently shown around 50% efficacy protecting against the first clinical episode of malaria, in some cases extending up to 4 years. It is hoped that RTS,S will eventually become the first licensed malaria vaccine. This first vaccine against a human parasite is a groundbreaking achievement, but improved malaria vaccines conferring higher protection will be needed if the aspiration of malaria eradication is to be achieved.

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