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Scientists hope to make malaria vaccine

 
 
 
 
 
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New finding points to possible malaria vaccine

Scientists say they can use their information about how malaria parasite invades human red blood cells to develop an anti-malaria vaccine.

Researchers at the Sanger Institute in Cambridge (UK) pinpointed a single receptor for a protein that is critical for the parasite to gain entry into red blood cells before multiplying and spreading.

Blocking the receptor can stop the killer disease and prove a good way to design a vaccine, the team says.

“Our research seems to have revealed an Achilles heel in the way the parasite invades our red blood cells,” said Gavin Wright who co-led the study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

“The great hope is that this breakthrough will facilitate the path toward a more effective vaccine,” he added.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease that affects 300 million people, killing around 800,000 individuals every year, the vast majority of whom are children of the Sub-Saharan Africa.

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