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Antibody treatment tested as new tool against malaria in Mali

Antibody treatment tested as new tool against malaria in Mali

Bamako, Nov 1 (Prensa Latina) A single experimental antibody drug provided strong protection against malaria infections in adults during the six-month rainy season in Mali, after being applied in Kalifabougou and Toronto villages, an international team of researchers announced Tuesday.

Kassoum Kayentao, at the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies in Bamako, enlightened that the new antibody drug is a different approach by administering to people a high amount of antibodies against this mosquito-borne disease.

Kayetao praised as novel contribution that one would not have to rely on immune system to produce enough infection blockers after vaccination.

The experimental antibody drug, developed by researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, works by interrupting the parasite’s life cycle before it enters the liver, where it can mature and multiply.

It was developed from an antibody taken from a volunteer who received a malaria vaccine shot, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the study, 330 able-bodied adults received either a high dose of these different gamma globulin-type glycoproteins or placebo (a substance lacking pharmacological activity).

Subsequently, volunteers were tested for malaria every two weeks for 24 weeks, and whoever came back positive was treated.

Infections were detected by blood tests in 20 people who received the highest dose, 39 with the lowest amount, while 86 subjects with placebo tested positive, the scientific publication said.

The highest dose was 88% effective and was more likely to cause moderate headaches. The lower dose was 75% effective in preventing infection.

Although the antibody drug must be administered intravenously, a method that makes it difficult to use on a large scale, it bodes well for an injection version that is easier to apply in early trials in children, infants and adults.

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