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      A Field Trial to Assess a Blood-Stage Malaria Vaccine

      , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

      New England Journal of Medicine

      Massachusetts Medical Society

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          Abstract

          Blood-stage malaria vaccines are intended to prevent clinical disease. The malaria vaccine FMP2.1/AS02(A), a recombinant protein based on apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) from the 3D7 strain of Plasmodium falciparum, has previously been shown to have immunogenicity and acceptable safety in Malian adults and children. In a double-blind, randomized trial, we immunized 400 Malian children with either the malaria vaccine or a control (rabies) vaccine and followed them for 6 months. The primary end point was clinical malaria, defined as fever and at least 2500 parasites per cubic millimeter of blood. A secondary end point was clinical malaria caused by parasites with the AMA1 DNA sequence found in the vaccine strain. The cumulative incidence of the primary end point was 48.4% in the malaria-vaccine group and 54.4% in the control group; efficacy against the primary end point was 17.4% (hazard ratio for the primary end point, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 1.09; P=0.18). Efficacy against the first and subsequent episodes of clinical malaria, as defined on the basis of various parasite-density thresholds, was approximately 20%. Efficacy against clinical malaria caused by parasites with AMA1 corresponding to that of the vaccine strain was 64.3% (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.86; P=0.03). Local reactions and fever after vaccination were more frequent with the malaria vaccine. On the basis of the primary end point, the malaria vaccine did not provide significant protection against clinical malaria, but on the basis of secondary results, it may have strain-specific efficacy. If this finding is confirmed, AMA1 might be useful in a multicomponent malaria vaccine. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00460525.).

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          Most cited references 19

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          Efficacy of the RTS,S/AS02A vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum infection and disease in young African children: randomised controlled trial.

          Development of an effective malaria vaccine could greatly contribute to disease control. RTS,S/AS02A is a pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate based on Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite surface antigen. We aimed to assess vaccine efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety in young African children. We did a double-blind, phase IIb, randomised controlled trial in Mozambique in 2022 children aged 1-4 years. The study included two cohorts of children living in two separate areas which underwent different follow-up schemes. Participants were randomly allocated three doses of either RTS,S/AS02A candidate malaria vaccine or control vaccines. The primary endpoint, determined in cohort 1 (n=1605), was time to first clinical episode of P falciparum malaria (axillary temperature > or =37.5 degrees C and P falciparum asexual parasitaemia >2500 per microL) over a 6-month surveillance period. Efficacy for prevention of new infections was determined in cohort 2 (n=417). Analysis was per protocol. 115 children in cohort 1 and 50 in cohort 2 did not receive all three doses and were excluded from the per-protocol analysis. Vaccine efficacy for the first clinical episodes was 29.9% (95% CI 11.0-44.8; p=0.004). At the end of the 6-month observation period, prevalence of P falciparum infection was 37% lower in the RTS,S/AS02A group compared with the control group (11.9% vs 18.9%; p=0.0003). Vaccine efficacy for severe malaria was 57.7% (95% CI 16.2-80.6; p=0.019). In cohort 2, vaccine efficacy for extending time to first infection was 45.0% (31.4-55.9; p<0.0001). The RTS,S/AS02A vaccine was safe, well tolerated, and immunogenic. Our results show development of an effective vaccine against malaria is feasible.
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            A recombinant blood-stage malaria vaccine reduces Plasmodium falciparum density and exerts selective pressure on parasite populations in a phase 1-2b trial in Papua New Guinea.

            The malaria vaccine Combination B comprises recombinant Plasmodium falciparum ring-infected erythrocyte surface antigen and 2 merozoite surface proteins (MSP1 and MSP2) formulated in oil-based adjuvant. A phase 1-2b double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in 120 children (5-9 years old) in Papua New Guinea demonstrated a 62% (95% confidence limits: 13%, 84%) reduction in parasite density in children not pretreated with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine. Vaccinees had a lower prevalence of parasites carrying the MSP2-3D7 allelic form (corresponding to that in the vaccine) and a higher incidence of morbid episodes associated with FC27-type parasites. These results demonstrate functional activity of Combination B against P. falciparum in individuals with previous malaria exposure. The specific effects on parasites with particular msp2 genotypes suggest that the MSP2 component, at least in part, accounted for the activity. The vaccine-induced selection pressure exerted on the parasites and its consequences for morbidity strongly argue for developing vaccines comprising conserved antigens and/or multiple components covering all important allelic types.
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              Efficacy of RTS,S/AS01E vaccine against malaria in children 5 to 17 months of age.

              Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a pressing global health problem. A previous study of the malaria vaccine RTS,S (which targets the circumsporozoite protein), given with an adjuvant system (AS02A), showed a 30% rate of protection against clinical malaria in children 1 to 4 years of age. We evaluated the efficacy of RTS,S given with a more immunogenic adjuvant system (AS01E) in children 5 to 17 months of age, a target population for vaccine licensure. We conducted a double-blind, randomized trial of RTS,S/AS01E vaccine as compared with rabies vaccine in children in Kilifi, Kenya, and Korogwe, Tanzania. The primary end point was fever with a falciparum parasitemia density of more than 2500 parasites per microliter, and the mean duration of follow-up was 7.9 months (range, 4.5 to 10.5). A total of 894 children were randomly assigned to receive the RTS,S/AS01E vaccine or the control (rabies) vaccine. Among the 809 children who completed the study procedures according to the protocol, the cumulative number in whom clinical malaria developed was 32 of 402 assigned to receive RTS,S/AS01E and 66 of 407 assigned to receive the rabies vaccine; the adjusted efficacy rate for RTS,S/AS01E was 53% (95% confidence interval [CI], 28 to 69; P<0.001) on the basis of Cox regression. Overall, there were 38 episodes of clinical malaria among recipients of RTS,S/AS01E, as compared with 86 episodes among recipients of the rabies vaccine, with an adjusted rate of efficacy against all malarial episodes of 56% (95% CI, 31 to 72; P<0.001). All 894 children were included in the intention-to-treat analysis, which showed an unadjusted efficacy rate of 49% (95% CI, 26 to 65; P<0.001). There were fewer serious adverse events among recipients of RTS,S/AS01E, and this reduction was not only due to a difference in the number of admissions directly attributable to malaria. RTS,S/AS01E shows promise as a candidate malaria vaccine. (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00380393.) 2008 Massachusetts Medical Society
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New England Journal of Medicine
                N Engl J Med
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                September 15 2011
                September 15 2011
                : 365
                : 11
                : 1004-1013
                Article
                10.1056/NEJMoa1008115
                3242358
                21916638
                © 2011
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