World’s First Malaria Vaccine -Mosquirix
Over 435,000 people get killed due to malarial infection wherein children are majorly affected. Almost every 1 child loses life in every 2 minutes due to the deadly malarial parasite – Plasmodium. The launch of the world’s first malaria vaccine-Mosquirix by Govt of Malawi has been welcomed by many nations and WHO. As among many nations, African countries are majorly affected by the malaria epidemic and having a vaccine is a big welcome step.
Malaria is caused by the infectious parasite Plasmodium. It spread through female mosquito named as Anopheles which invades the human skin and deposits the Plasmodium sporozoites. The launch of vaccine known as RTS, S is the only vaccine till date which showcased significant impact on malaria infection. It has been tested among children and proved to prevent 4 in 10 malarial cases.
Since past centuries efforts have been taken to tackle malaria, awareness for using bed nets and other measures have been spread. These measures have a drastic positive impact but sooner or later the response has been stalled – Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO – Director-General).
The vaccine RTS, S, with trade name Mosquirix is made through the contribution of the scientist at GSK in 1987. Mosquirix is the first malaria vaccine licensed to be used against malarial parasite Plasmodium Falciparum. It is developed under the partnership of nonprofit organization PATH and has also received support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mechanism of Action
Mosquirix malarial vaccine is engineered using genetic domains of Plasmodium Falciparum. The genes for T cell epitope from the pre-erythrocytic circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of malaria and viral envelope protein from hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) was used. These were further used in combination with a certain chemical adjuvant such as ASO1. The use of AS01 adjuvant helps in increasing the rate of immune response among patients. The infection caused is majorly prevented on the basis of humoral and cellular immunity. The vaccine induces high antibody titers which in response blocks the malarial parasite from infecting the liver.
The implementation and availability of malarial vaccine will be determined by the Ministries of health. They will focus on specific areas according to medium to high malarial transmits areas, to have a major impact of the vaccine.
The constant threat
Malaria has been a constant threat for tropical countries due to the favorable conditions available. In tropical countries, the rainfall is high which provides conditions for the malarial parasite to breed in high amount. These conditions, in turn, is a major reason that malaria returns even after eradicating it to an extent. Malaria has become a curse for tropical countries but with the advent of the vaccine, the cure is not far.
The power of the vaccine
The power of vaccine can’t be denied by anyone and when combined with other precautionary measures for malaria the outcome can be highly positive. The major victim in the hands of this disease has been innocent children. The advent of Mosquirix can change the entire dynamics and can help to save them from severe illness.