Malaria Vaccine Almost Here
Medical practitioners across Africa working on a vaccination for the deadly malaria disease have continued to make good progress.Dr. Patricia Njuguna, a researcher based in Kenya has developed a vaccine named RTS, S which has been termed one of the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011.
The vaccine has been under development over the last 25 years as a public-private collaboration with pharmaceutical company Glaxo SmithKline Biologicals, PATH Malaria Vaccine initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.
According to the World Health Organization, 650,000 malaria deaths occured in 2010, with almost all in children under 5 and in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2006 top malariologists across the world pledged to develop a malaria vaccine by 2015. Trials run on the NTS, S have shown a prevention of transmission in 55.8% of subjects.
The final tests of the trials are to be concluded by 2014, and the WHO will begin mass marketing the drug by 2015.
Over 30 laboratories across the world are working on malaria vaccines. RTS, S has achieved the most significant breakthrough, however due to the different strains of malaria found in different regions of the globe, it is important for different vaccines to be developed.