US researchers have found that they produce an antibody that attacks the malaria-causing parasite.
Injecting a form of this antibody into mice protected the animals from the disease.
The team, who published their results in the journal Science, said trials in primates and humans were now needed to fully assess the vaccine’s promise.
Prof Jake Kurtis, director of the Center for International Health Research at Rhode Island Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, said: “I think there’s fairly compelling evidence that this is a bona fide vaccine candidate.
“However it’s an incredibly difficult parasite to attack. It’s had millions of years of evolution to co-opt and adapt to our immune responses – it really is a formidable enemy.”
The study began with a group of 1,000 children…
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