Malaria jab boosts most vulnerable

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A NEW malaria vaccine could be the first to tackle different forms of the disease and help those most vulnerable to infection, a study has revealed.

The new vaccine, created by scientists from Edinburgh University, is designed to trigger production of a range of antibodies to fight the many different types of parasite causing the disease.

The researchers created the vaccine by combining multiple versions of a key protein found in many types of malaria parasite, which is known to trigger production of antibodies upon infection.

Researchers say that because malaria parasites exist in many forms, the only way to gain natural immunity against all strains is by having multiple bouts of the illness.

A vaccine that overcomes this could be especially useful in children and other vulnerable groups of people.

Dr David Cavanagh, of the university’s school of biological sciences, who led the study, said: “Our approach is novel because it combines multiple antibody targets from different parasite types, giving broader protection. This could prove to be a useful vaccine.”