New vaccines are coming to fight malaria

New vaccines are coming to fight malaria
mosquitoes spread malaria and tropical diseases.

“Two new vaccines give hope” in the fight against malaria, reports The Economist:

The first, RTS,S, has been tried on nearly 2m children in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi since 2019, and is being used in seven more countries this year. The second, R21/Matrix-M, which is being made in larger volumes at less than half the price, started shipping on May 24th to the Central African Republic…..

When a mosquito infected with malaria bites a person, it injects a few dozen sporozoites into the bloodstream. These long, sprightly forms of the parasitic protozoan reach the liver within an hour; there the parasite transforms and multiplies, causing infection and sometimes death. Stop the parasite early, when the sporozoites are few in number, and disease is averted.

That is the premise of both new vaccines, which create antibodies that attach to sporozoites of the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, responsible for almost all of the deaths globally. The first to arrive was RTS,S which was developed in 1987 by GSK, a British company, and recommended by the WHO in 2021. Combining it with antimalarial drugs in places with high seasonal transmission of the disease reduced malaria episodes and deaths in young children by nearly two-thirds, compared with jabs or antimalarial drugs alone. Adding bed nets probably raised protection to more than 90%.”

Brazil has released millions of bacteria-infested mosquitos to fight another tropic disease, dengue fever.  2021 study found such bacteria-infested mosquitoes produced a 69% decrease in dengue fever, as well as a 56% and 37% decrease in the incidence of chikungunya and Zika, two other mosquito-borne diseases.

Such mosquitoes, infested with Wolbachia bacteria, are also being bred to fight dengue fever in Honduras, in hopes of replacing mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, with a strain of mosquitoes that doesn’t spread the disease.

Dengue fever — a tropical disease so painful it is also known as “breakbone fever” — has spread into parts of Florida, Texas, and Arizona. In 2023, there were 11 cases of locally-acquired dengue fever in Florida. It could become much more widespread in the U.S. in the future.

Scientists recently came up with an “inverse vaccine” that has shown it can treat auto-immune diseases in a lab setting, so doctors might be able to use it to reverse multiple sclerosis. Note, however, that the FDA can take many years to approve life-saving drugs and medical devices.

Scientists recently discovered a new antibiotic that can kill drug-resistant bacteria.

A virus is being used to cure deafness in new gene therapy. Researchers also discovered that a plant virus could be used to save crops from root-eating pests.

Recently, a treatment was discovered for sleeping sickness, a disease that kills 50,000 to 500,000 people per year.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. He also once worked in the Education Department. Hans writes for and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” Contact him at


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.