Malaria Vaccine Prompts Victims' Immune System to Eliminate Parasite From Mosquitoes

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Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental vaccine that could, theoretically, eliminate malaria from entire geographic regions, by eradicating the malaria parasite from an area's mosquitoes.

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The vaccine, so far tested only in mice, would prompt the immune system of a person who receives it to eliminate the parasite from the digestive tract of a malaria-carrying mosquito, after the mosquito has fed upon the blood of the vaccinated individual. The vaccine would not prevent or limit malarial disease in the person who received it.

An article describing this work was published on the Web site of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The vaccine was developed with conjugate technology, which joins or "conjugates" molecules the immune system has great difficulty recognizing to molecules the immune system can recognize easily. Primed by the conjugate vaccine,the immune system begins making antibodies

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