Biotech Updates

Malaria Vaccine with Engineered Parasites Shows Positive Results in Small Trial

September 7, 2022

Researchers from Seattle Children's Research Institute reported the promising results of a small experimental trial of a malaria vaccine. The vaccine contains living parasites weakened by the deletion of three key genes that are essential for it to leave the liver and infect blood cells. Genetically engineered parasites cannot cause severe disease, nor can they be passed on to other people. The researchers used CRISPR to modify the parasites.

The team administered the vaccine to 16 volunteers by allowing them to be bitten at least 200 times on 3 to 5 occasions by mosquitoes infected with the GE parasite. When the volunteers were eventually exposed to mosquitoes with unmodified parasites, half of them did not show signs of blood-stage infections.

“Our hope is that this vaccine will give very potent protection, 100 percent hopefully for at least six to 12 months,” said Stefan Kappe, leader of the study.

Read the original article from New Scientist.

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