On Thursday, researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other organizations announced a potentially critical development in the effort to create a vaccine against malaria.
A clinical trial of a new vaccine made by Sanaria Inc. appeared to prevent malaria infections people who received multiple doses of the vaccine and were later exposed to the disease. Experts hailed the results as a major achievement, but noted that a commercial version of the vaccine will require additional years of testing, CNN notes.
Irradiated and frozen samples of the parasite that causes malaria were used to create the new vaccine, which requires multiple injections to take effect. In fact, some volunteers who received four injections did contract the disease, while all of those that received five injections did not.
One expert noted that it could take between eight and ten years for the vaccine to obtain the needed approvals, if it continues to produce positive results in later rounds of clinical trials.
Spread through mosquito bites, malaria kills more than 600,000 people around the world each year.