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Malaria Vaccine, Via Mosquito

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the absolutely-nothing-can-go-wrong dept.

Biotech 178

CodeShark writes "The AP is reporting that mosquitoes have been used for the first time to deliver anti-malarial vaccine through their bites. According to this article the results were crystal clear: 100% of the vaccinated group acquired immunity, everyone in the non-vaccinated control group did not. Those in the control group and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later, the vaccinated group did not. Malaria kills nearly a million people per year, mostly children."

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Mutation (0, Offtopic)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890553)

This should be fun when the vaccine mutates in the mosquitoes that carry and spread it :)

Re:Mutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890609)

This should be fun when the vaccine mutates in the mosquitoes that carry and spread it :)

They already made a movie about it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430334/

RTFA (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890647)

The "vaccine" is the parasite itself... oh just RTFA.

Yes it is. (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891013)

I read it, and it is a vaccine.
From Wikipedia, bold by me.

A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains a small amount of an agent that resembles a microorganism. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as foreign, destroy it, and "remember" it, so that the immune system can more easily recognize and destroy any of these microorganisms that it later encounters.

from tjer article:

"This is not a vaccine" as in a commercial product"
It is not produced like a vaccines are ready for commercial use. In fact it may never be anything but a 'study aid' to learn more about getting a commercially available product.

"The concept already is in commercial development. A company in Rockville, Md. â" Sanaria Inc. â" is testing a vaccine using whole parasites that have been irradiated to weaken them, hopefully keeping them in an immature stage in the liver to generate immunity but not cause illness."

so, yes this concept is being used as a vaccine, just not for malaria.

OK, UTFA (4, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891237)

OK, UNDERSTAND the fine article.

The only place where mosquitoes are involved here is that they're exposing the volunteers to mosquitoes to infect them with parasites that are weakened (in their body) through quinine. That part, that is, using mosquitoes to infect the people with parasites, is the part that's not commercially viable... the company in Rockville is using externally weakened parasites... weakened OUTSIDE the body by radiation... no mosquitoes involved.

Re:OK, UTFA (1)

ImOnlySleeping (1135393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891377)

This is accurate.

Two better articles: Nature and ScienceDaily (4, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892297)

Slashdot editors don't like their work, apparently.

These are better articles:

Mosquitoes against malaria? [nature.com] . Quote: 'In what AP [google.com] describe as a "daring experiment" with "astounding" results, researchers found that ten people subjected to mosquito bites three times over three months whilst taking the drug chloroquine gained apparent immunity against malarial mosquito bites a month later.'

Effective Vaccine For Malaria Possible, Study Shows [sciencedaily.com] . Quote: "This unique method of immunization allowed the human immune system to direct its response to eliminating the P. falciparum parasite at the earlier, liver stage of its life cycle. (Chloroquine kills the parasite at the later blood stage.)"

Re:Mutation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890775)

Next, AIDS vaccinations via what?!?

Re:Mutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890807)

Anal sex?

Re:Mutation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890791)

It could develop into a disease that kills millions a year, like Malaria.

Re:Mutation (0)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890947)

You have a strange conception of "fun"

Re:Mutation (0, Offtopic)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891069)

Re:Mutation (0)

asCii88 (1017788) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891105)

Re:Mutation (3, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891385)

Re:Mutation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891429)

Mod parent +1 awesome!

Biology imitates computer science? (4, Funny)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890601)

Am I the only person reminded of the debate over whether it was OK to exploit holes in a botnet to disinfect other people's computers without their permission/knowledge?

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (4, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890639)

Well, I read the article (sorry) and it's actually nothing to do with causing mosquitoes to spread a vaccine: the "vaccine" is regular malaria, and the treatment consists of letting people get bitten (and therefore exposed to the parasite) while giving them a drug which stops them actually getting malaria.

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (-1, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891023)

A modified variant of the parasite.

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891353)

No, RTFA! (or RTFA *again*) They used an unmodified parasite in the mosquito, while giving the test subjects an anti-malarial drug. This let the subjects build up an immunity to the real parasite while not suffering the effects of a full-blown infection in the process.

There was a separate study referenced briefly in the article using an irradiated parasite, but that had nothing to do with the mosquito vector.

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891411)

To me, it sounded like the study in question used regular ol' malaria (the commercial development was pursuing a similar process using weakened malaria).

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891039)

So it's nothing but the usual money-making-trough-actually-not-healing-but-making-addicted-scheme?

I KNEW it! Really! How could I even have a bit of doubt?

Someone deserves to die for this. Really! But not the malaria victims.

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (3, Informative)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892485)

No, it's not the "usual money-making-trough-actually-not-healing-but-making-addicted-scheme."

You take the anti-malaria drugs for a few months while getting bitten by mosquitos with real malaria. After a few months, you stop taking the drugs, because your body has used that time to develop an immunity to the parasites. From that point on, you are immune to malaria for the rest of your life, with no further drug costs.

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891193)

reminds me of quinine. [wikipedia.org] They tried that once upon a time, it worked when it was being taken and it is still around in some tonic waters (but not enough to actually DO anything about malaria nowadays, that would be too bitter), but since malaria is still a problem, one can conclude that "stopping malaria after being bitten" is not the most effective preventative measure.

The definition of insanity comes to mind.

reminds me of quinine (0)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891581)

In the study they used Chloroquine [wikipedia.org] which is a type of quinine.

malaria is still a problem

And likely will be for years.

one can conclude that "stopping malaria after being bitten" is not the most effective preventative measure.

Because malaria carrying mosquitoes will be around for many years to come, the best way to prevent an infection is by preventing being bitten. However as many can't prevent it a vaccine is likely to be effective.

Personally I don't why people get bitten by mosquitoes so much, I rarely ever get bitten, even in a crowd while others are getting bitten. Maybe it's because I eat a lot of garlic.

Falcon

Re:Biology imitates computer science? (0, Offtopic)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890925)

Yes.

Thanks Bill Gates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890605)

How much do you want to bet Bill had something to do with this? Someone, seriously, come up with a reason why he's doing this to only control the world. I need a laugh...

Re:Thanks Bill Gates! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890721)

Gee, you central americans sure seem to like this Lunix I keep hearing about.

It sure would be a shame if our malaria vaccine ran out. Have you seen Window 7? Oh, I think you'll find it's pretty nice...

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890623)

ladies, get your pussies ready!

Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (4, Interesting)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890627)

how in holy hell did they get that past the human subjects review board? Athlete's foot and common cold is one thing, intentionally infecting your control group with malaria is something else altogether.

Answering my own question (4, Informative)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890691)

From the REAL FA [nejm.org]

All subjects provided written informed consent. The trial was approved by the institutional review board at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre. The study sponsor, the Dioraphte Foundation, was not involved in the design of the study, in the gathering or analysis of the data, or in the writing of the manuscript.

Damn. Informed consent to malaria infection.

Re:Answering my own question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892159)

Is it even remotely possible that these scientists know just a LITTLE BIT more than you, and you, oh, and you over there too! If anyone here is in fact smarter than these dudes intentionally infecting folks with malaria willy nilly, I'd ask that you get your asses over there straight away and save some lives. I thank you sirs.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890789)

malaria isn't a death sentence, if 10 people get malaria and become a bit sick, but it saves a million children, what would you do?

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (3, Informative)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890953)

It's not a matter of personal sacrifice, it's a matter of getting it past human subjects review. My wife's run ordinary social-science studies in the past, you have to jump through ridiculous hoops just to ask people questions.

And yes, the volunteers are heroes, even if all we get out of this is knowledge. (If you read the NEJM article, the process is a bit involved -- it takes weeks, you need a strain of malaria known to be well-treatable with existing drugs, it requires a little stable of infected mosquitos.)

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (5, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891021)

it requires a little stable of infected mosquitos.

That sounds repulsive and adorable at the same time.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891857)

I'm envisioning a line of "My Little Mozzie" children's animal dolls...

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891189)

from the tone in your first post it sounded like you didn't think it should get past. yes i can well imagine the hoops they jumped through - it is probably the tail end of 10 years of study for them

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891785)

How about, "I am completely boggled that it got through"? This is not man bites dog, this is man bites shark with frikkin lasers.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892445)

No shit! The IRB at my university jumps all over us if we change the wording of an email announcing an appointment to participants, and that's for research classified as minimal risk!

I'm AMAZED.

The altruistic nature of the volunteers is wonderful to see, I agree.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892143)

Volunteer someone else.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (0, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891057)

Well
A) Drive to a clinic with malaria patients, and offer them a potential cure?
or
B) Intentionally infect poor people with malaria for money, without them telling so.

What do you think is more likely, in the face of the current behavior of the disease industry?

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891201)

WTF? Vaccination isn't a cure. And what part of "informed consent" involves "without telling them so"?

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891135)

how in holy hell did they get that past the human subjects review board? Athlete's foot and common cold is one thing, intentionally infecting your control group with malaria is something else altogether.

You're so cute. You think there's review boards in a lot of the countries that have malaria problems?
Big Pharma: Hi, I'd like to do a study trial on malaria. Here's $10,000.

Despot: How soon can you start? Oh, just out of curiousity, will you be infecting people with malaria, trying to cure malaria, or infecting people, then trying to cure it?

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891505)

Soooo, are you describing the Netherlands there? That's where this study happened.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (0)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891619)

Reading TFA is hard. More fun just to post. Seriously though, I did read the article. I was speaking more in generalities, and actually explaining the difference kinda threw off the cadence of the post. Or maybe I was generally just feeling trollish. Go ahead and mod me down if you want. That's what the points are there for... :-)

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891739)

You know those ads on the subway that offer you $7,000 for three hours of work? Well, there's always a catch.

Re:Okay, I read TFA, what I want to know is (3, Informative)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892263)

Had Malaria 8 times. If you know you have it and get treatment (pills or a shot) early, it isn't even as bad as a cold.

Had a resistant form of Malaria once. It sucked balls because treatment would only work for a few days and then the symptoms would come back... harder. Took some stronger medicine and was fine.

Malaria is not a big deal for healthy adults who can sense the symptoms. It is a HUGE deal for children who can not always understand the way they feel, or the elderly who have weak immune systems.

I think they filed the test subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890665)

under dumbasses.

Re:I think they filed the test subjects (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890993)

Well the vaccinated group will never be vulnerable to malaria again... sounds smart to me

Re:I think they filed the test subjects (1)

perlchimp (263475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891419)

Well, when they come out with mosquitoes carrying a possible HIV vaccine, feel free to jump to the front of the line. The subjects most likely did not know if they were placebo and they knew they would be subjected to infection either way. There is no possible way they could have known the efficacy of the vaccine.

Re:I think they filed the test subjects (3, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891887)

Well the vaccinated group will never be vulnerable to malaria again...

Says who? Because it is a new study they have not been able to see how long the immunity remains. Also they used mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium falciparum [wikipedia.org] which is one but not the only parasite which causes malaria. Immunity also presupposes it won't evolve.

Falcon

Good news, everyone (3, Informative)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890689)

... whether or not you agree with the method of delivery or not, this is good news. Thus far there has been no *vaccine* for malaria, merely drugs to take while you're exposed to the risk of catching it. Unfortunately, at least one of these has undesirable long term side-effects...

Re:Good news, everyone (4, Informative)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890697)

It isn't a vaccine. It's just taking drugs that stop you actually developing malaria, then getting bitten. Regular unmodified malaria parasite is the "vaccine".

Re:Good news, everyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890855)

It isn't a vaccine. It's just taking drugs that stop you actually developing malaria, then getting bitten. Regular unmodified malaria parasite is the "vaccine".

Let me guess, you're also the guy at the party telling us that it's not a "song" because it doesn't have vocals in it, right?

Re:Good news, everyone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890865)

but aren't vaccines just a weakened version of the virus? this would weaken the virus after it enters into your body, not before.

Re:Good news, everyone (1)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891879)

usually the material is "dead" if thats the correct word, but yes this still counts as a vaccine

Re:Good news, everyone (2, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890941)

It is absolutely a vaccine. After being exposed to this combination of things - you both

a) Don't get malaria
and
b) are now immune to malaria

Re:Good news, everyone (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891103)

You forgot the absolute key catch in this thing, that pharma companies intentionally keep quiet about:

You only are immune to malaria as long as you pay them money by buying their pills and taking them.

When you are caught in it, it's the perfect extortion trap: Stop giving us money, and you DIE!
Who does this remind you of, hmmm?

Re:Good news, everyone (2, Informative)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891387)

You only are immune to malaria as long as you pay them money by buying their pills and taking them.

Sigh.

That was the whole POINT of the study! They stopped taking the anti-malarial drug, but since they were exposed to the parasite so many times while taking it, they are now immune WITHOUT the drugs.

Re:Good news, everyone (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891589)

The effect was observed 4 weeks after the subjects ceased taking chloroquine.

So good work freaking out about how evil these researchers are. The paper is here:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/361/5/468 [nejm.org]

Linked earlier here:

http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1321071&cid=28890691 [slashdot.org]

Re:Good news, everyone (1)

smash (1351) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891967)

Its not a "vaccine" in the traditional sense, but the end result is the same. before this, the only way to not get malaria was to keep taking the drugs. Which, as I mentioned, have undesirable long term side effects (basically, take them too long and they make you batshit crazy).

... I mention this as someone who travels internationally, occasionally to African nations - so I've had all the vaccines for shit they can prevent that way (typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, etc, etc) - malaria isn't one of them.

You are factually wrong (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892469)

This process induces immunity. Thus, it is a vaccine. By strict or loose definition.

Malaria kills nearly a million people per year, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890747)

Mostly NIGGERS!

population control (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890767)

so, a million more people a year in malaria infested regions? That's going to hugely tax the infrastructure that's not counting on the population boom.

let it be, and while you're at it, abandon the research into a swine flu vaccine. There's too many people already on this planet.

Re:population control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892293)

I agree, do us a favor and kill yourself.

Everybody has AIDS (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890811)

Next up, new AIDS vaccine is delivered by sluts.

Re:Everybody has AIDS (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890951)

Good thing, now maybe ms. Santax wil get of her lazy ass and start bringing in some cash too.

Re:Everybody has AIDS (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891043)

Your being funny*, but a modified AIDS virus is being looked at as a way to deal with the AIDS virus.

*for different values of funny. Particular low values in your case.

Next up, new AIDS vaccine is delivered by sluts. (3, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891737)

Slashdot had an article about how some prostitutes in an African country were immune to AIDS. When I searched I didn't find it but I found another where two Women in China [slashdot.org] were immune due to a mutant gene.

Falcon

Re:Next up, new AIDS vaccine is delivered by sluts (4, Interesting)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891949)

You can get a mutation in the gene for CCR5 which codes for a protein on the outside of the immune cells that HIV sticks to so it can enter and replicate and kill them which eventually leads to aids, actually like 10% of people descended from Europeans have this mutation, the further north you go the more common it gets if I remember correctly. It supposedly got passed on by the people who survived the bubonic plague and became more prevalent since people who didnt have that allele died off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCR5#CCR5-.CE.9432 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Everybody has AIDS (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892305)

Someone actually tried [salon.com] this....

Terrible summary text (5, Informative)

John Whitley (6067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890817)

The summary text is completely misleading vs. the article text. The mosquitoes don't "deliver" a vaccine. A combination technique is used, involving an existing anti-malarial drug and repeated exposure to the parasites via mosquitoes, to cause natural immunity to develop, essentially controlling a known path to malaria immunity. The article indicates this approach isn't usable on a practical scale, yet is important because:

"This is not a vaccine" as in a commercial product, but a way to show how whole parasites can be used like a vaccine to protect against disease, said one of the Dutch researchers, Dr. Robert Sauerwein.

The article does mentions separate work to commercialize a related approach involving weakened malaria parasites.

This needs modding (3, Interesting)

Louse (610514) | more than 5 years ago | (#28890819)

Did anyone else see that XSS?

Re:This needs modding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28890961)

hacks abound

Re:This needs modding (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891147)

I didn't see anything else. No script sometimes = no fun but damn people, if you can't make a simple news site without cross site scripting, maybe you should find another line of work...

Kind of a waste (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891095)

If somebody ever invents the perfect mosquito repellent.

Vodka Tonic (1)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891117)

I prefer to just drink a few extra vodka tonics [wikipedia.org] to prevent malaria when I'm in locations that are known to have it in the mosquito population :)

Attacks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891157)

I wonder how soon before another group, Al Qaeda, or even another nation of say North Korea or Iran, decides to do a 2 prong attack? They can stock the mosquito's in an area with a virus that makes ppl susceptible to another attack. Loads of interesting angles on this. Dr. Evil anybody? if not him, then W. Bush or even Wen Jiabao.

Um, OK. (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891163)

Cool experimient. Seriously. Very cool. Mosquitos curing malaria. Neat! But, I just gotta ask; wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask... Why can't we just use needles and syringes like everybody else?

Re:Um, OK. (3, Informative)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891299)

Presumably because areas with Malaria problems are poor, really fucking poor, as in they've never seen a dollar. That makes distributing a vaccine difficult, since you can't have the locals pay for it, nor do they have a good infrastructure for the delivery even if the Gates foundation or the like picks up the tab.

This method isn't really practical for the same reasons, but TFA mentions a live vaccine that could conceivably be used the same way, and cheaply.

Re:Um, OK. (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891605)

My guess would be, if it didn't work, it's easier to deny infecting people intentionally with mosquito bites than with needles. But honestly if I had to get injected with something, I think I'd rather have it done with a mosquito rather than a needle.

Re:Um, OK. (1)

mauthbaux (652274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892219)

because the parasite that causes malaria can't fully develop into the human pathogen outside of the mosquito (among other reasons).

What happens when we eliminate malaria (0, Troll)

sliverstorm (942764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891175)

Yes, it could be destroying malaria will do only positive things, but if we release this vaccine into the wild and it proliferates, and the virus is no more, do we really know what will happen? Of course, I've never heard of a negative fallout from the elimination of smallpox, but who knows. We gotta be careful when we go about systematically eradicating something.

Re:What happens when we eliminate malaria (1)

Zapo_Verde (1406221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891399)

This isn't a vaccine that is released "into the wild". Its just people using the medicine while being repeatedly bitten by malaria infested mosquitos. After a few months of this they gain immunity to malaria. Yea, it's a terrible idea to eliminate diseases like polio and malaria, which cause misery to millions of impoverished people through out the world. There are no upsides to keeping these diseases around. They aren't grand contributors to the ecosystem. They only cause destruction.

"Those and developed malaria"? (3, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891219)

Those in the control group and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later, the vaccinated group did not.

Rephrase, please. The control group did what?

Re:"Those and developed malaria"? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891587)

I think you just have to take out the word "and"...

Re:"Those and developed malaria"? (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891777)

The and is just an and.

Maybe it's just because I don't know enough bio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891225)

...but it makes me shiver to think about the release of genetically engineered flying parasite insects amongst a population.

I think they are missing something (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28891567)

I grew up in Central African Republic and have had malaria once, and also had dozens of relapses. Malaria stays in your blood and you are at risk for a relapse even after you have recovered with or without medicine. Go server in the US military and contract Malaria while you are overseas on assignment and you will get an extra 600 check each month because it is considered a permanent disability.

Re:I think they are missing something (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892095)

It depends on the species of malaria you get. There are two popular flavors of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum (which can kill you outright) and Plasmodium vivax (which generally doesn't kill you though in India there are some cases of fatal infections).

You probably had P. vivax which has been known to stay dormant in the liver for years after the initial exposure.

The vaccines are for P. falciparum because this bug can kill you within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. That generally only happens maybe 1 out of 100 times though.

Also P. flaciparum is the only malaria parasite that can be grown in the lab. This makes it easier to manipulate for manufacturing a vaccine.

Re:I think they are missing something (1)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892333)

4 types

Plasmodium vivaX <---- BAD MOTHER, does not go away
Plasmodium malariae <---- easy to treat
Plasmodium ovale <---- not so strong symptoms
Plasmodium falciparum <---- can be resistant to treatment, can hit like a 5 ton truck

Terrible idea. (1, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#28891723)

This, if it really worked, would eventually create a million more deaths and vastly increased food shortages, poverty, suffering and children dying of starvation when the malaria population limiting factor is removed. We really must incorporate educational programs into vaccination programs that encourage people to have small families with the goal of stabilising population levels, and make condoms and contraceptives more available.

Also I question the ethics of administering a vaccine in a way that people cannot resist it. It should be a basic right to refuse a vaccine, adn the only people that would effect is those who do not accept the vaccine. Why not just deliver the vaccine in a shot? sure a little more expensive, but, seems to be more ethical. This would allow the dose to be more precisely controlled as well with a mosquito there is no telling how much a person could get, and what if there is a long term adverse health effect? The idea of using mosquitos really is dangerous, seems to to be dicey and invention for crazy things to happen with mutations and so on, that might actually create some sort of disasterous environmental consequence.

Re:Terrible idea. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892151)

you sir are an idiot...

In some areas there is a 50% child mortality rate from malaria...and in some cases that mortality includes both the unborn child and the mother. There are already food shortages and poverty in Africa which for the most part is due to the disease burden on people.

The problem with Africa is no one wanted to due business there during the industrial revolution because of the disease burden there and this thing were there were limited natural resources. No infrastructure has been developed and hence little wide spread industry beyond South Africa.

And why not make it a shot? Because nobody can harvest enough sporozoites to put it in a shot yet. Dumbass if they could they would.

Re:Terrible idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892329)

That this is modded interesting itself is quite appaling.
Developing a vaccine for malaria is a terrible idea? That too because a population limiting factor is removed ?
You, sir, have no heart.

Re:Terrible idea. (5, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892381)

How the hell did that post get to +4? Must be heartless mod night on /.

Did you know that Africa could feed itself, and half the world if they simply stopped fighting. Went to modern farming techniques and stopped fighting? That Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa and fed nearly the entire sub-content before Mugabe came to power. I for one welcome the eradication of diseases that are terrible and crippling.

Perhaps we should just stop all immunizations world wide, and let people drop dead. Well that's fine with me, I'm vaccinated against everything I can be. But tell that to some 4 year old kid who will never walk and live in an iron lung because mommy and daddy had a conscience attack, and refused to give her a polio vaccination.

Re:Terrible idea. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#28892419)

Also I question the ethics of administering a vaccine in a way that people cannot resist it. It should be a basic right to refuse a vaccine, adn the only people that would effect is those who do not accept the vaccine. Why not just deliver the vaccine in a shot?

Woah, where did all of that come from? Why would you even think that?

All subjects provided written informed consent. The trial was approved by the institutional review board at the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre.

And you got modded +5 insightful, for asking a question already answered in the article...
I think I just threw up in my throat a little :/

What this article was about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892045)

This article described under what conditions do attenuated parasites provide protection. Basically the researchers allowed mosquitoes to feed on malaria infected blood. Then after a bit of time they irradiated the mosquitoes.

The irradiated sporozoites, the malaria parasite stage that is injected by the mosquito into the human, is then genetically damaged and generally cannot cause infection. The people were given chloroquine as a safety precaution and to prevent the blood stage from forming. This way the researchers could restrict the subjects immune response to only be from the sporozoites and not from the blood stage of the malaria parasite.

So the question is how many attenuated sporozoites does a person need to get exposed to in order to develop protection. In this case they think about 1000 insect bites/ exposures to attenuated sporozoites can lead to "complete protection".

Protection in this case was when moquitoes with non-irradiated sporozoites did not cause infection. Control subjects were people who just had mosquitoes without malaria parasites feed on them were not protected.

  This has been done before but on apes not on humans.

  The message of the paper is more of a proof of concept. Is there justification for making genetically modified parasites which just produce sporozoites, then can these attenuated sporozoites, as whole organisms, be used as a vaccine. Such development is currently underway in Seattle and is about to go into clinical trials.

Over all people have been trying to make malaria vaccines for 50+ years. non have proven to have any efficacy. Perhaps this is a new method for reducing malaria burdens.

  They are still pretty far from production though...it's really hard to grow and isolate sporozoites from mosquitoes in any type of bulk process to make enough vaccine to be useful

!!vaccine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892085)

I can't believe how many people deny that this is a vaccine. Administering an infectious agent to develop immunity while preventing or mitigating the actual infection (by the vaccine) is exactly how a vaccine is defined. This is a prophylactic active vaccine. It doesn't matter by what means the mitigating effect is achieved. In the original cowpox vaccine, it was achieved by not using cowpox itself, but the related smallpox which is much less dangerous but similar enough to trigger the same immune response and thus convey immunity to cowpox as well. In other cases, dead or weakened infectious agents are used for the vaccine. The only difference here (apart from using an animal vector instead of a syringe) is that the weakening of the infectious agent occurs only after injecting it, by the cloroquine that is being administered.

terrible idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892139)

Repeated exposure to artemisinin and chloroquine has been shown to INCREASE malaria's resistance to these drugs. If put into some sort of large scale, these would only further the problem of resistance. Malaria is a very, very tricky parasite. A lot of drugs that have been developed for Malaria have had spots pop up (or complete resistance) show up in many parts of the world in the SAME year as the drug being released. It is no wonder that Malaria is one of the deadliest neglected tropical diseases.

Source: I work in a malaria research lab.

So the mosquito... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28892267)

...vaccinates them against malaria but hooks them up with sickle cell anemia?

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