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The RTS,S vaccine: Will it prove or fail to be the holy grail of malaria prevention?
online resourceposted on 09.12.2019, 00:00 by JWL Denny, Andrew Taylor-RobinsonAndrew Taylor-Robinson
Malaria claims the lives of approximately a million people per year, plus causes suffering in hundreds of millions. It has drastic socioeconomic impacts on endemic countries and has been the focus of global health initiatives for decades. Early attempts to eradicate malaria failed; however, increased interest in existing control measures has led to a second attempt and has been met with much support especially for the prospect of a vaccine. Knowledge of the malaria parasite’s complex lifecycle and transmission rates combined with ever-improving immunological understanding has produced a host of vaccine candidates. Amongst these the most notable is RTS,S which has seen a long development process and shown much promise, recently progressing into phase III clinical trials. Nevertheless RTS,S still faces a number of obstacles, and doubt has been cast over its potential. While the future of RTS,S is not certain, it is still likely to play a role in our ongoing fight against malaria.