Malaria trials will pay volunteers to get infected

The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and Seattle Biomedical Research Institute are teaming up on a new testing facility devoted to preventing malaria. When the Seattle building is complete in two years, researchers there will test several promising vaccines, including one that tags the malaria parasite with a protein from another pathogen so that the human immune system will attack it. Another possibility is a combo of a Sanaria-developed shot made from irradiated parasites harvested from mosquitoes and other protein-based approaches.

Paid volunteers will be injected with the most promising versions and then bitten by mosquitoes carrying a strain of malaria that can be treated with existing drugs--in case the vaccine fails. The volunteers will be monitored for the parasites and treated as necessary; officials said DNA screening makes it possible to detect the parasite at a very early stage, before volunteer suffer symptoms.

- check out the story at Scientific American

ALSO: How could Bill and Melinda Gates' call to eradicate malaria ignite controversy? Some say it raises expectations too high and cuts into less exciting and more tedious--yet still necessary--prevention efforts. Report

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