Oxford researchers develop new malaria vaccine
In a major scientific development, scientists at Oxford University have developed a new malaria vaccine which can guard against the deadly mosquito-borne disease.
The vaccine has shown promising results in the first clinical trial in which some of the adult volunteers were completely protected against malaria.
It’s the first time that a vaccine has been shown to have a protective effect through a sufficiently high immune response involving cells called CD8 T cells. It is CD8 immune cells that are seen to vanguard a protective response against malaria in similar studies in mice.
How this vaccine is different from existing vaccines?
At present, every vaccine in use generates antibodies. But there are two divisions to the body’s immune system for combating infection: antibodies and T cells. The latest vaccine is different in a way that it aims to induce an immune response involving T cells particularly CD8+ T cells. CD8 T cells are vital because they are the main killer cells in the immune system. They can attack nearly all types of infected cells – in this case liver cells infected with the malaria parasite.