Vaccines for Deadly Malaria Create Even More Virulent Malaria:PLos Study

August 2, 2012

2 Aug (GAIA Health) – Malaria is a killer. Obviously, the last thing we need is a more virulent malaria. Yet, that is precisely what the malaria vaccine will probably cause.  A study published by PLoS Biology found that “virulence evolved” through malaria vaccinations.

Anopheles Mosquito

Malaria is a disease that causes severe chills, fevers, sweats, fatigue, and anemia. It’s caused by Plasmodium parasites, which are carried by the Anopheles mosquito. It’s transmitted through the mosquito’s “bite” when it feeds. Unlike other diseases, its symptoms have a nasty tendency to return, often years after initial infection. For people in the northern hemisphere, malaria hasn’t been much of a problem, but with climate change’s warming, the malaria-carrying mosquitoes have moved further north and now pose risks to North America and Europe. This, of course, means that an enormous new profit center is developing for malaria vaccines. Therefore, there’s been a burst of research to develop them. Of course, such research is focused on one thing: bringing a product to market. Concerns about the long term effects are not addressed by vaccine researchers. Fortunately, though, one team of scientists has investigated the potential risk of such a vaccine. The findings should give pause to the gung-ho vaccine developers—but almost certainly won’t.

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