News & AnalysisInfectious Diseases

Unconventional Vaccine Shows Promise Against Malaria

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Science  09 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6146, pp. 605
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6146.605

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Tropical disease researcher Stephen Hoffman has spent the past decade working on a malaria vaccine made from weakened parasites. Two years ago, the first test of this vaccine in people failed. Now, Hoffman has evidence that his idea might just work. Online this week in Science, Hoffman and collaborators report that when given in a new way, their experimental vaccine protected 12 of 15 volunteers from malaria infection, including all six receiving the most doses. Those numbers are tiny. But 100% protection is the best result yet in the long and frustrating effort to develop a malaria vaccine.