Chapter 13 : Why the Vaccine Remains Elusive

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Malaria vaccines, it is assumed, will assist in transforming the nations in the developing world from a state of poverty to one rich in health. Indeed, recent progress in controlling malaria in some parts of the world has come from four interventions: sleeping under insecticide-impregnated bed nets, spraying houses with insecticides, giving preventive drug treatments to pregnant women, and providing timely treatment of the sick with effective antimalarial drugs. Vaccine developers who subscribe to the use of monkey models suggest that malaria vaccine trials with nonhuman primates are less expensive and allow a choice of antigen before the need to produce clinical grade material. Investigators who reject the use of monkey models argue that it is an invalid model since it uses an unnatural host challenged by an unnatural route and using unnatural dosages. Some investigators argue that the path to a protective vaccine will be determined by a better understanding of the immune mechanisms that operate during natural infections as well as after immunization. Pharmaceutical firms are unlikely to invest the resources necessary to produce a malaria vaccine and satisfy their investors without some promise of a reasonable return on their investment. Absent such a commitment, philanthropic and governmental agencies will have to partner with pharmaceutical companies to support malaria vaccines. Such collaborations do exist, as is the case in financing and distributing antiretroviral therapies to patients in developing countries.

Citation: Sherman I. 2009. Why the Vaccine Remains Elusive, p 319-326. In The Elusive Malaria Vaccine. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817428.ch13
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