Development and Phase 3 testing of the most advanced malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01, indicates that malaria vaccine R&D is moving into a new phase. Field trials of several research malaria vaccines have also confirmed that it is possible to impact the host-parasite relationship through vaccine-induced immune responses to multiple antigenic targets using different platforms. Other approaches have been appropriately tested but turned out to be disappointing after clinical evaluation. As the malaria community considers the potential role of a first-generation malaria vaccine in malaria control efforts, it is an apposite time to carefully document terminated and ongoing malaria vaccine research projects so that lessons learned can be applied to increase the chances of success for second-generation malaria vaccines over the next 10 years. The most comprehensive resource of malaria vaccine projects is a spreadsheet compiled by WHO thanks to the input from funding agencies, sponsors and investigators worldwide. This spreadsheet, available from WHO's website, is known as "the rainbow table". By summarizing the published and some unpublished information available for each project on the rainbow table, the most comprehensive review of malaria vaccine projects to be published in the last several years is provided below.
© 2011 Schwartz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.