Dec 8, 2008
An experimental malaria vaccine for babies reduced the chances of developing the mosquito-borne illness by more than half, scientists are reporting today. The results, from two trials conducted in Kenya and Tanzania, are the most promising yet in the quest to develop effective immunization against the life-threatening parasite.
The findings on GlaxoSmithKline's RTS,S/AS01 showed a 53 percent lower risk of infection over eight months and were presented today at the annual American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene meeting in New Orleans. They build on results published last year that found that GSK's RTS,S/AS02 vaccine (the same shot formulated with a different adjuvant, or immune-enhancing additive) slashed the risk of a first-time malaria infection by 66 percent in infants who received the full three-dose course. A safety study on that vaccine published in today's online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine showed about the same efficacy — a 65 percent reduction in first-time infections for babies 12 months and younger.
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