New Japan malaria vaccine cuts infections 'by 72%'

May 31, 2013

A team of Japanese researchers say they have developed a vaccine that cuts the risk of malaria developing in humans by more than two-thirds.

The disease, which is carried by parasite-bearing , kills around 650,000 people each year, mostly African children under five, according to the UN's (WHO).

While there are a number of preventative medicines already in use, scientists say drug-resistance is growing.

Researchers from Osaka University have developed a dry powder vaccine, called BK-SE36, from a genetically-modified protein found inside the parasite, which they mixed with aluminum hydroxyl gel.

"The vaccine's effect is greater than those hitherto reported of any other antimalaria vaccines," a statement issued this week said, adding BK-SE36 is expected to reduce markedly the number of deaths caused by the mosquito-borne disease.

The vaccine has already undergone trials on adults in Japan and was also tested in a malaria-endemic area in northern Uganda between 2010 and 2011. Neither study found any safety problems.

A follow-up study of people in Uganda, aged between six and 20, found the vaccine lowered the number of people infected by malaria by 72 percent.

The findings were published on Tuesday on the online US science journal PLOS One, according the statement.

BK-SE36 far outperformed the 31 percent decline achieved by another new vaccine developed by a British company, the statement said.

Professor Toshihiro Horii, who led the study, told Jiji Press he wants to put BK-SE36 to practical use "in five years after conducting a clinical trial on infants between zero and five, who account for the bulk of malaria deaths."

The study came as a non-profit group said Friday it was launching a project to comb the catalogues of some of Japan's biggest drug companies in the hunt for treatments for diseases that kill thousands of people every year.

The Fund (GHIT Fund), set up by the Japanese government, Japanese pharma companies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said they were looking at a potential five-year commitment of more than $100 million to support research and development into neglected diseases.

The project will see researchers looking through the libraries of compounds held by drug companies to see what possible treatments they contain for tuberculosis, malaria, and other illnesses that threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the five-yearly Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) which will see Japan welcome heads of government from up to 40 African countries.

Explore further: Japan-backed fund unveils TB, malaria therapy search

Related Stories

Japan-backed fund unveils TB, malaria therapy search

May 31, 2013
A non-profit group said Friday it was launching a project to comb the catalogues of some of Japan's biggest drug companies in the hunt for treatments for diseases that kill thousands of people every year.

Malaria vaccine fails to work after four years

March 20, 2013
A new vaccine that has raised hopes of becoming a potent new tool in the battle against malaria seems to stop working in children after four years, according to research published Wednesday.

Multiple malaria vaccine offers protection to people most at risk

October 26, 2011
A new malaria vaccine could be the first to tackle different forms of the disease and help those most vulnerable to infection, a study suggests.

India announces low-cost rotavirus vaccine (Update)

May 14, 2013
The Indian government announced Tuesday the development of a new low-cost vaccine proven effective against a diarrhea-causing virus that is one of the leading causes of childhood deaths across the developing world.

Malaria's severity reset by mosquito

May 30, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—For the first time, researchers have proven that the way in which malaria is transmitted to the host affects how severe the resulting infection will be.

Malaria vaccine a letdown for infants (Update)

November 9, 2012
An experimental malaria vaccine once thought promising is turning out to be a disappointment, with a new study showing it is only about 30 percent effective at protecting infants from the killer disease.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.