Deathly rate: Much progress has been made in the treatment and prevention of malaria. New research states that malaria deaths in Africa have been cut by one third in the past decade from vaccinations. During that same period, 35 out of the 53 malaria-affected countries outside of Africa have seen a 50% reduction in cases. Roughly half the world’s population is still at risk of being infected with malaria, with children and pregnant women the most vulnerable. Every year, malaria causes 655,000 deaths. Every minute, a child in Africa dies from malaria.
Malaria is an infectious disease spread by mosquito bites. It is caused by the parasite Plasmodium, which multiplies inside the human body and infects red blood cells. Without treatment, malaria can disrupt blood supply to vital organs and become fatal.
RTS,S candidate malaria vaccines induce very high titres of anti-circumsporozoite antibodies as well as a strong CD4 T-cell response (characterised by the production of inflammatory cytokines such as interferon γ), which could contribute to the killing of the liver schizonts. The chemistry of the vaccine itself is more concrete. The vaccine antigen consists of 19 copies of the central tandem repeats and C-terminal region of the CS protein fused to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and co-expressed with unfused HBsAg in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells.