Malaria remains one of the greatest impediments to development in many tropical regions of the world. Understanding host immune responses to malaria parasites is crucial for the effective design and implementation of new vaccines and drugs. Recent research has seen the identification of the first pattern recognition receptor (TLR9) on dendritic cells for a defined product of malaria infection (hemozoin). In addition, progress has been made in understanding the role of dendritic cell subsets in malaria, and how they promote specific components of the host immune response. Potentially important advances in vaccine design have also been made by inserting a Plasmodium sporozoite epitope into the yellow fever vaccine 17D, as well as using a whole, live-attenuated sporozoite vaccine.