Sep, 2022 - By WMR
Researchers have revealed novel insights into how young children's immune systems react to the RTS,S malaria vaccine, including the influence that prior malaria infection has on that response.
The RTS,S vaccination is officially recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for kids who reside in regions with moderate to high Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission rates.. However there are some restrictions. Researchers at Burnet have carried out research that have provided new insights into the immunological responses of young children to the RTS,S malaria vaccine and how prior exposure to the disease impacts those responses.
It is assumed that the (RTS,S) vaccine has a weak protective effect, it wears off quickly, and young children frequently have negative reactions to it. In a clinical investigation, young children in malaria-prone regions of Mozambique received the RTS,S vaccination. The primary research questions were: How successfully does this vaccination produce that kind of immunological response, and how long does it last?
According to the investigation, the vaccine's capacity to induce a protective immune response was rather moderate—it only delivers 30–50% protection. Another significant finding was that children who had experienced frequent exposure to malaria responded less well to the vaccine. The study concluded that child's immune system will not respond as well to the malaria vaccination if they have had previous exposure to the disease; as a result, they won't be as well protected.
Research is still being done to determine why it would be different for malaria, according to Professor Beeson. The outcomes of this study offer suggestions for how to enhance or improve the RTS,S vaccine in order to more effectively induce protective responses and, thus, provide protection from malaria.
Moreover,it is in stark contrast to diseases like COVID-19, where the majority of the research indicates that catching an infection naturally before receiving a vaccine actually improves overall immune response.