A new vaccine designed to combat malaria has shown very promising results in its first test. The vaccine, currently called PfSPZ, is made from live but weakened malaria-causing parasites. The company that created the vaccine, Sanaria, is located in Maryland and had to overcome a number of technological hurdles to create the vaccine. But, you might ask, why is this important?
Simple. Malaria is usually spread by mosquitoes and infected 219 million people in 2010. Of those, it killed an estimated 660,000, according to the World Health Organization. And while you might not be concerned about getting the disease in the U.S., it still affects you if you travel or are in the military. The Navy said, in a statement, that malaria was responsible for “a greater loss of manpower than enemy fire in all conflicts occurring in tropical regions during the 20th century.” Considering the bloody nature of warfare in the 20th century, that’s really saying something.
The people behind the vaccine think it will take another 3-5 years to fully develop and license the vaccine, but if they’re right and the progress continues, this vaccine could have the kind of worldwide positive effect the polio vaccine had for previous generations.
To read the complete story, please click here.
Image courtesy of www.caribbeantrakker.com.