Vaccine Could Stifle Malaria Menace

Researchers may be about to take a bite out of malaria. The mosquito-borne disease, which infects 225 million people each year and kills 781,000 victims, but a new vaccine has cut the number of infections of test subjects in half in the year following vaccination.

CNN reports researchers revealed promising African clinical trial results at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation event in Seattle. The vaccine is designed for children because they account for the majority of malaria deaths due to their immature immune systems.

A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rep says the vaccine could represent a monumental breakthrough:

“Scientists have been working to develop a malaria vaccine for 40 years, and these findings show that we are on track in the development of a vaccine for African children, those who need it most.”

If tests go well, the World Health Organization could recommend the vaccine by 2015.

Breakthrough malaria vaccine tantalizingly close [CNN]