Vaccines against malaria

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 15;60(6):930-6. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu954. Epub 2014 Dec 1.


Despite global efforts to control malaria, the illness remains a significant public health threat. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine against malaria, but an efficacious vaccine would represent an important public health tool for successful malaria elimination. Malaria vaccine development continues to be hindered by a poor understanding of antimalarial immunity, a lack of an immune correlate of protection, and the genetic diversity of malaria parasites. Current vaccine development efforts largely target Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the pre-erythrocytic and erythrocytic stages, with some research on transmission-blocking vaccines against asexual stages and vaccines against pregnancy-associated malaria. The leading pre-erythrocytic vaccine candidate is RTS,S, and early results of ongoing Phase 3 testing show overall efficacy of 46% against clinical malaria. The next steps for malaria vaccine development will focus on the design of a product that is efficacious against the highly diverse strains of malaria and the identification of a correlate of protection against disease.

Keywords: P. falciparum; P. vivax; malaria; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Biomedical Research
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Malaria / immunology
  • Malaria / prevention & control*
  • Malaria Vaccines* / therapeutic use
  • Malaria, Falciparum / immunology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / parasitology
  • Malaria, Falciparum / prevention & control
  • Plasmodium falciparum / growth & development
  • Plasmodium falciparum / immunology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / immunology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / prevention & control*


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • Antimalarials
  • Malaria Vaccines