Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Innovative New Malaria Vaccine Enters Testing

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health are testing a new vaccine aimed not at curing malaria in an individual patient, but at eradicating the virus from a region.

The new technique involves not only removing the parasite from the infected patient, but at transfering antibodies capable of eradicating the virus into the mosquitoes that carry the infection. By removing this source of infection, the scientists hope to prevent the spread of the disease.

The vaccine was developed with conjugate technology, which joins or "conjugates" molecules the immune system has great difficulty recognizing to molecules the immune system can recognize easily. Primed by the conjugate vaccine,the immune system begins making antibodies — immune proteins that target specific molecules. The antibodies then eliminate molecules the immune system would fail to detect.

Read the NIH press release HERE.

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