The meningococcal vaccine protects you from four types of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. This illness can cause meningitis, an infection of the lining around the brain or spinal cord. It can also cause a blood infection (meningococcal bacteremia), pneumonia, and other problems. Ten percent to 15% of people who are infected with the disease die from it, even if they were treated with antibiotics. As many as 20% of those who survive may have lasting problems such as hearing loss, brain...
A malaria vaccine must be specific to the
Plasmodium species and also specific to the strain of
parasite, such as the P. falciparum
Malaria immunity is stage-specific. This means that a
vaccine that can kill a parasite at one stage of its life cycle may not be able
to kill a parasite in another stage.
Malaria parasites may be able
to change (mutate) quickly. This makes a vaccine ineffective.
vaccine must be able to provide immunity without causing significant side
effects in the people who receive the vaccine.
The form of parasite
that is injected by the mosquito can reach a human's liver in just 30
Finding a vaccine is vital to decreasing the illness and
death caused by malaria infection. More study is needed before people can rely
on vaccines to protect them from malaria infection. Until a more effective
vaccine is available, avoiding mosquito bites and using medicines are the only
ways to prevent malaria infection. (For more information, see the Prevention
and Medications sections of the topic Malaria.)
Blood-stage vaccines prevent or
contain the malaria infection by limiting the growth of the malaria parasite in
the bloodstream. Some vaccines are showing promise in clinical trials.1, 2, 3 But no blood-stage vaccine that can
prevent malaria is available to the public yet.
Vaccines that prevent the spread of malaria
are being tested that prevent the spread of malaria.4
The vaccine works by preventing the malaria parasites from developing inside a
mosquito. So a mosquito that bites a person infected with malaria cannot pass
the infection on to another person. The vaccine does not prevent or treat
malaria in a person already infected.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 11, 2013
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