IN WHAT he called "Colombia's gift to the world", immunologist Manuel Patarroyo has handed over all rights to his synthetic malaria vaccine to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a newsletter of the organisation says.
The first scientifically accepted field study of the vaccine, reported in March 1993 in the British journal Lancet, showed it gave 40 per cent protection against malaria in a Colombian population at risk of contracting the disease. Results suggested higher protection rates in certain age-groups. This is the first synthetic vaccine shown to have some efficacy against a parasitic disease and certainly the first against malaria.
WHO is to decide if and how the vaccine is to be used on the basis of results of field trials in Asia and Africa, which will be received by 1995.
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