Filed under: biomimicry & Ecology, technology | Tags: malaria, mosquito, vaccine
In a daring experiment in Europe, scientists used mosquitoes as flying needles to deliver a “vaccine” of live malaria parasites through their bites.Everyone in the vaccine group acquired immunity to malaria; everyone in a non-vaccinated comparison group did not, and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later.it shows that scientists may finally be on the right track to developing an effective vaccine against one of mankind’s top killers. A vaccine that uses modified live parasites just entered human testing.The new study “reminds us that the whole malaria parasite is the most potent immunizing” agent, even though it is harder to develop a vaccine this way and other leading candidates take a different approach. Malaria kills nearly a million people each year, mostly children under 5 and especially in Africa.
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