Last Updated

17 Nov 2020

Towards a vaccine for Plasmodium vivax

Malaria-free world has been an ultimate goal embraced by WHO just decade after its foundation, however only 38 countries in temperate zone were able to eliminate malaria since then. In 2017, WHO Executive Board reasserted their full and firm support towards malaria eradication. The lancet commission on Malaria eradication has called for global experts and policy makers to agree upon an ambitious target of eradicating malaria by 2050. Although, the overall incidence has dropped by 40% between 2000-2015, the absolute figures are still high and with the current tools and approaches, achieving malaria eradication seems to be impossible [ref].

In many countries where P falciparum has been successfully eliminated, P vivax is the remaining challenge, and are increasingly being acknowledged as a cause of severe disease. In countries with both P falciparum and P vivax, the ultimate challenge for elimination will be P vivax. Vaccines could be a crucial component of efforts to eradicate malaria.

The first Malaria Vaccine Technology Roadmap (MVTR) was published in 2006 focusing mainly on developing an effective vaccine for preventing morbidity and mortality in children under five, first in sub-saharan Africa and then in other highly endemic regions caused by P. falciparum.  After the substantial change in malaria epidemiology and realization of severe disease-causing ability of Plasmodium vivax, the updated roadmap (2013) included development of efficacious vaccines for P. vivax, with the expanded vision of progressively eliminating and ultimately eradicating malaria from the globe [ref].

The aim of this deep dive is to describe the landscape of current research in P. vivax vaccine: information related to ongoing research activities was collected, quality checked and validated through systematically searching online databases of grants and through direct contact with expert researchers.