The MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). Many children growing up in the U.S. are immunized as infants and toddlers, but childhood immunizations don't guarantee lifetime protection. Not all adults were immunized as children, many adults move to the U.S. from countries without immunization programs, and global travel makes transmission of infectious diseases a real risk.
As a general rule, adults born before 1957 are considered immune...
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, making 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 20, 2011
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