17 Feb 2017

Malaria vaccine one step closer

12:40 pm on 17 February 2017

A vaccine for malaria has just passed its first clinical trial with human volunteers, giving them 100 percent immunity to the parasite that causes the disease.

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A malaria vaccine is being developed in Germany Photo: AFP

Malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year, and is passed on by a parasite spread by mosquitos.

Researchers from the University of Tübingen in southern Germany, are working with tech company Sanaria to develop a 100 percent effective vaccine.

Unlike other vaccines, this one uses living malaria parasites, but combines them with an antimalarial drug called chloroquine.

The living pathogens prompt a strong immune system response, but then the chloroquine kills them as they enter the bloodstream, preventing any illness.

The company said early results were a positive sign, and the researchers will be moving on to larger clinical trials.

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