It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Excellent news today: we have word of the most effective malaria vaccine yet discovered. A year-long trial in Burkina Faso has shown 77% efficacy, which is by far the record, and which opens the way to potentially relieving a nearly incalculable burden of disease and human suffering.
Past studies from the Nanoro health sciences institute make this terrifyingly clear. Here’s one where they looked a cohort of 734 infants born in the area for the first year of their lives. It’s thought that children of this age have some malaria protection due to antibodies passed on from their mothers, but as the paper says, in areas of high transmission this can be overwhelmed. In those 734 infants, they recorded 717 clinical incidents of malaria infection, with the incidence rate strongly increasing as their first year went on and the great majority of these occurring in the rainy season. This 2010-2014 study from Nanoro shows the strong correlation of local malaria cases with rainfall and temperature (with a few weeks lag, as expected), and also with socioeconomic status (in exactly the direction you’re thinking). This is the clearly the sort of region where real-world tests of a malaria vaccine need to be carried out.
This new vaccine (R21) uses a circumsporozoite protein (CSP) antigen – that’s a highly conserved protein of the parasite, involved in several functions as the parasite makes the move from mosquito to human and into different human tissues such as the salivary glands. This has been a vaccine ingredient before, such as in the RTS,S vaccine (the first one ever licensed), but R21 has a much higher proportion of CSP assembled into a virus-like particle. It also uses the exact same adjuvant from Novavax (Matrix-M) that they are using in their coronavirus vaccine – you can’t keep a good adjuvant down, and this Chilean-soapbark-based one seems to really kick the immune system up under all circumstances.
The team previously run an “age-de-escalation” trial in Kenya, showing that the vaccine seemed safe as you moved down to children and infants. That led to this trial, in 450 children aged 5 to 17 months in the Nanoro area, in three groups: 150 children with 5 micrograms vaccine and 25 micrograms adjuvant, a second 150 at 5/50, and a third getting rabies vaccine as a control.
The higher-adjuvant cohort showed 77% vaccine efficacy, and the lower-adjuvant one showed 74% with (as you’d expect) overlapping confidence intervals. The first group had significantly higher antibody levels, though, and they’re currently doing an additional year of follow-up to see how long the protection lasts and if these doses differentiate themselves. The antibody levels at the one-year mark in both groups were significantly higher than with the RTS,S vaccine, and in particular, antibodies against the repeat section in the middle of the circumsporozite protein seemed to correlate strongly with protection. No safety problems so far.
The team is now planning a larger Phase III at five different African site, with varying seasonality and malaria loads.
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: jerich0
Malaria is not an emergency, certainly not in the US.
Even our former president seemed to be vaguely aware of that, thus "operation warp speed."
originally posted by: dug88
a reply to: ScepticScot
I don't seem to recall a years worth of any phase 2 trials or long term plans for a phase 3 trial before the covid vaccine was released on mass to the public under threat of loss of freedom for noncompliance.