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29 Nov 22 95 0 0

A new tool to prevent malaria shows promise: Antibody drugs

Cool Story - A new tool to prevent malaria shows promise: Antibody drugs

An international team of researchers reported Monday that a single dose of an antibody medication offered a powerful defense against malaria infections during the six-month rainy season in Mali. The encouraging finding, which was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, paves the way for a new weapon to aid in the fight against a parasitic illness that killed more than 600,000 people last year, largely children.

A tempting proof of concept that such a strategy could have a significant impact was provided by the investigational medication CIS43LS, which demonstrated 88 percent effectiveness in preventing malaria infections in healthy persons.

Umberto D'Alessandro, a malaria specialist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine located in the Gambia, said in an email that the study was conducted in a region with high seasonal transmission and that "this is extremely good." He wasn't a part of the investigation.

However, it only depicts the beginning and not the end. The medication is administered intravenously over 30 minutes, making it impractical for it to be used widely. As a result, a more powerful and user-friendly medication that comes next is more likely to reach the end of development. An antibody medication would be a tool in the fight against malaria, not the only one.

The research paves the way for a whole new class of medications to combat malaria, a condition brought on by a parasite found in the saliva of infected mosquitoes. After giving a volunteer an experimental malaria vaccination, a team at the National Institutes of Health recovered a parasite-blocking antibody from the donor's blood and modified the antibody so that it would remain in the blood and provide protection for months at a time.

The NIH team put the medication through a rigorous test for malaria prevention during the rainy season in collaboration with scientists from the Mali International Center for Excellence in Research, which is located at the University of Sciences, Techniques, and Technologies of Bamako, Mali. Transmission peaks during that time in October, with the period starting in June.

Young children often have two potentially fatal malaria infections in a single season in the remote Malian villages where the researchers conduct their research, but this number can reach five.

330 healthy adults participated in the study and were given either a high dose of CIS43LS, a low dose, or a placebo. The high dose had an efficiency of 88% and was more likely to result in mild to moderate headaches. The reduced dose had a 75% success rate in avoiding infection.

There are a variety of methods for preventing malaria, including bed nets treated with insecticide, oral antimalarial medications given to children and pregnant women, and a vaccine that was just recently approved by the World Health Organization.

A comparable, second-generation antibody medication created at the NIH is currently being evaluated in kids in Mali and Kenya. If that medication is effective, it might be more practical because it only needs a small amount. The trials are initially carried out on healthy individuals, but as children or pregnant women are more susceptible to malaria, these groups will ultimately need to be studied to determine the impact.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Robert Seder, chief of the cellular immunology division, said he and his group started developing the second-generation antibody, known as L9LS, almost concurrently with the first one. They understood that a more potent medication may lower the price and make administration simpler—important advancements if the medication was to be useful.

Jacqueline Kirchner, a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is co-funding the follow-up study in Kenya, described the findings as "extremely exciting and very hopeful." This is a significant new development that, coupled with several other techniques, could speed up the eradication of the malaria parasite while also addressing medication resistance that is on the rise.

A significant development for public health was last year's WHO endorsement of a malaria vaccine. Even so, there is still more that needs to be done to save lives.

A significant development, the RTS, S/AS01 vaccine is 30% effective in preventing fatally severe malaria in children. However, this vaccine is most successful when used in conjunction with other preventative measures. R21/Matrix-M, a trial vaccine in development, has been demonstrated to be 78 percent effective in children in Burkina Faso after three doses plus a booster.

The above article is selected by CoolDeeds.org. The information and the assets belong to their respective owners (original link).


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