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      An update on the search for a Plasmodium vivax vaccine.

      Trends in Parasitology

      Species Specificity, immunology, Receptors, Cell Surface, Protozoan Proteins, Plasmodium vivax, Merozoite Surface Protein 1, prevention & control, Malaria, Vivax, Malaria Vaccines, Humans, Antigens, Protozoan, Animals

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          Although Plasmodium falciparum is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality due to malaria worldwide, nearly 2.5 billion people, mostly outside Africa, are also at risk from malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax infection. Currently, almost all efforts to develop a malaria vaccine have focused on P. falciparum. For example, there are 23 P. falciparum vaccine candidates undergoing advanced clinical studies and only two P. vivax vaccine candidates being tested in preliminary (Phase I) clinical trials, with few others being assessed in preclinical studies. More investment and a greater effort toward the development of P. vivax vaccine components for a multi-species vaccine are required. This is mainly because of the wide geographical coexistence of both parasite species but also because of increasing drug resistance, recent observations of severe and lethal P. vivax cases and relapsing parasite behaviour. Availability of the P. vivax genome has contributed to antigen discovery but new means to test vaccines in future trials remain to be designed.

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