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Malaria vaccine update - an additional comment

While recent field trial results for the potential malaria vaccine RTS,S may be disappointing, it is worth noting this is important work and the science may well prove an important contributor to the eventual development of a successful, cost-effective malaria vaccine. From an editorial in The New England Journal Of Medicine by Johanna Daily:
“The results of this trial suggest that this candidate malaria vaccine is not ready to become part of the routine panel of infant immunizations. [AMF added bold] However, this trial did show protection in a subset of children and thus should be used as an opportunity to enlighten researchers regarding the host responses that correlate with vaccine protection. There are many vaccine candidates in the pipeline that use alternative parasite targets and vaccination strategies. Whether leaders in malaria-vaccine development will be able to support the costs needed to integrate sophisticated host-response studies or other value-added studies into these future vaccine trials remains to be seen. The results of this immunization trial suggest that a malaria vaccine is possible, but a more detailed understanding of effective host responses will be necessary to achieve this goal and avert the illnesses and deaths associated with this devastating infection for millions of children."
We hope significant funding will be directed to vaccine research for the five malaria parasites. While it is the case, currently, there has never been an effective vaccine against a parasite, there is reason to believe scientific research will lead to one being developed. The impact of such a vaccine could be hugely significant.