Escaping the immune system: How the malaria parasite makes vaccine development a challenge

Trends Parasitol. 2013 Dec;29(12):612-22. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Immunity is acquired but is suboptimal, being slow to develop and incomplete. An inadequate understanding of natural immunity, host-parasite interactions, and a lack of reliable immune correlates of protection that could predict vaccine efficacy in the field have hindered development of a vaccine. With data from Phase III trials indicating that the leading malaria vaccine candidate, RTS,S, has limited efficacy, it is necessary to reconsider approaches to the development of a vaccine capable of inducing long-lived protection.

Keywords: immune evasion; immunity; immunomodulation; malaria; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Parasite Interactions / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Immune System / parasitology*
  • Malaria / immunology*
  • Malaria Vaccines / immunology*
  • Plasmodium / immunology


  • Malaria Vaccines