Malaria vaccine with live parasites given with cheap drug can give 100% ...

Malaria vaccine with live parasites given with cheap drug can give 100% ...
Malaria vaccine with live parasites given with cheap drug can give 100% ...

A malaria vaccine that contains live parasites has been found 100 per cent effective when taken alongside 86p antiviral tablets, a small study has found. 

Six volunteers given the jab in combination with a course of chloroquine were fully protected against the disease three months later.

This method - know as 'chemoprophylaxis vaccination' - gave immunity against two very different strains of the mosquito-borne parasite.

Experts said the results weer 'unprecendented' and said it gave hope that it could be used to shield against the five different types of malaria circulating around the world.

Despite over a dozen vaccines being in development for malaria, the sixth biggest killer in low-income countries, there is no approved jab. 

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In 2019, 229million people caught the disease and 409,000 died, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of mosquitoes, and is most common in Africa.   

Researchers from the the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that a course of chloroquine taken alongside a malaria vaccine developed by US company Sanaria gave six participants protection against different strains of the disease for at least three months. Malaria is transmitted through mosquitoes (pictured)

Researchers from the the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that a course of chloroquine taken alongside a malaria vaccine developed by US company Sanaria gave six participants protection against different strains of the disease for at least three months. Malaria is transmitted through mosquitoes (pictured)

Volunteers who took 1000mg of chloroquine before getting the jab and a 500mg dose afterwards had 100 per cent protection from malaria for at least three months

Person getting an injection

Chloroquine (left), the drug identified by scientists that could help in the fight against the disease, costs £0.86 for a 500mg dose, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Pictured right: a person getting an injection

What is malaria? 

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of mosquitoes - specifically infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

There are five species of parasite that cause malaria in humans, two of which pose the greatest threat.

The first - P. falciparum - accounted for the majority of cases in Africa, the South-East Asia Region, Eastern Mediterranean and the the Western Pacific. 

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The second, called P. vivax, is the predominant parasite in the Region of the Americas.

Symptoms 

Malaria is an acute febrile illness, which is generally defined as a fever that subsides by itself in three weeks. In the case of malaria, the fever is accompanied by headache and chills.

The symptoms may be mild to begin with, but if not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.

Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress, or cerebral malaria.

Multi-organ failure in adults is also frequent.

Who is at risk?

In 2019, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria. 

Most malaria cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but South-East Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific and Americas are also at risk.

The groups at highest risk include: infants, children under the age of five, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants and mobile populations. 

Prevention and treatment

There are a number of ways to prevent malaria, with 'vector

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