Blood-stage malaria vaccines - recent progress and future challenges.
Goodman AL., Draper SJ.
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a major global health problem, responsible for up to 1 million deaths each year. Major efforts have been made to develop an effective vaccine against this disease, to reduce the associated morbidity and mortality. There has already been considerable progress, with the first vaccine against the pre-erythrocytic stages of P. falciparum now en route to licensure. There remains, however, a strong scientific rationale for the development of a highly effective additional vaccine component against the blood stages of the parasite, which could be deployed in conjunction with partially effective control measures against the pre-erythrocytic stages. Here, recent progress in the clinical development of blood-stage vaccines is reviewed, including methods of antigen selection, the limitations of in-vitro assays for selecting vaccines for clinical development, and the results of recently published clinical trials. This review seeks to summarize recent developments in our understanding of immunity to blood-stage parasites, as well as the relevant key advances made in vaccine technologies over the last decade. The future challenges that face this field of vaccine research are also described.