Advances in vaccine development against the pre-erythrocytic stage of Plasmodium falciparum malaria

Expert Rev Vaccines. 2006 Feb;5(1):81-93. doi: 10.1586/14760584.5.1.81.


With approximately 2.4 billion people at risk, Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection caused by an infectious bite of an Anopheles mosquito continues to be a major cause of mortality and morbidity, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Measures to control the mosquito vector on a broad scale are expensive and need to be maintained continuously. The rapid emergence of parasite strains that are resistant to affordable drugs highlights the urgent need for a cheap and effective vaccine. Candidate vaccines that have been developed to date target different stages of the parasite life cycle. This review describes the recent advances in the development of a vaccine that aims to terminate the infection at its first stage in the liver. The candidate vaccines that are currently under clinical evaluation are introduced and the results from recent trials discussed. The review aims to explain the immunologic challenges a successful vaccine has to meet, as well as the different strategies that are currently employed in an attempt to induce a protective immune response. Furthermore, an outline of available options to be tested in the near future will be presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Erythroid Precursor Cells / immunology*
  • Erythroid Precursor Cells / parasitology*
  • Humans
  • Malaria Vaccines / immunology
  • Malaria Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / mortality
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / trends*


  • Malaria Vaccines