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World’s first anti-malaria vaccine launched

World’s first anti-malaria vaccine launched

Government of Malawi has launched world’s first malaria vaccine on 23 April in a landmark pilot programme.

The country is the first of three in Africa in which the vaccine, known as Mosquirix will be made available to children up to 2 years of age; Ghana and Kenya will introduce the vaccine in the coming weeks.

Malaria

It is caused by the infectious Plasmodium.

Spread: Female Anopheles mosquitoes deposit parasite sporozoites into the skin of a human host.

Malaria is a leading cause of human morbidity and mortality.

Despite huge progress in tackling the disease, there are still 212 million new cases of malaria and 430,000 malaria-related deaths worldwide each year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Most cases (80%) and deaths (90%) were in sub-Saharan African.

Mosquirix

Mosquirix uses antibodies to target proteins presented by sporozoites (such as the circumsporozoite protein of  falciparum)to enhance the immune system and help prevent the parasite from infecting the liver.

Mosquirix is also engineered using a hepatitis B viral protein and a chemical adjuvant to further boost the immune response for enhanced effectiveness.

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