Plasmodium vivax malaria is challenging to control because it can be dormant, causing no symptoms, and then become active causing symptomatic malaria weeks to months after initial infection.The vaccine candidate developed by researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in US and tested jointly with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to prevent vivax malaria infection is the first in-human study of its kind under an investigational new drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration.
WRAIR researchers immunised 30 volunteers with three doses of the vaccine candidate. Immunised volunteers took part in WRAIR's well-established controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) model where they were bitten by malaria-infected mosquitoes. The efficacy of the vaccine candidate was then determined based on whether or not volunteers developed malaria by looking at blood smears or if it took longer for malaria parasites to appear in the blood.
"This study represents the first vaccine study to test the effectiveness of a P vivax vaccine candidate in humans using controlled human malaria infection," said Jason W Bennett, the study's lead investigator.

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