A Randomized Controlled Trial Showing Safety and Efficacy of A Whole Sporozoite Vaccine Against Endemic Malaria
A highly effective malaria vaccine remains elusive despite decades of research. sporozoite vaccine (PfSPZ Vaccine), a metabolically active, nonreplicating, whole parasite vaccine demonstrated safety and vaccine efficacy (VE) against endemic for 6 months in Malian adults receiving a five-dose regimen. Safety, immunogenicity, and VE of a three-dose regimen were assessed in adults in Balonghin, Burkina Faso in a two-component study: an open-label dose escalation trial with 32 participants followed by a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) with 80 participants randomized to receive three doses of 2.7 × 10 PfSPZ ( = 39) or normal saline ( = 41) just before malaria season. To clear parasitemia, artesunate monotherapy was administered before first and last vaccinations. Thick blood smear microscopy was performed on samples collected during illness and every 4 weeks for 72 weeks after last vaccinations, including two 6-month malaria transmission seasons. Safety outcomes were assessed in all 80 participants who received at least one dose and VE for 79 participants who received three vaccinations. Myalgia was the only symptom that differed between groups. VE (1 - risk ratio; primary VE endpoint) was 38% at 6 months ( = 0.017) and 15% at 18 months (0.078). VE (1 - hazard ratio) was 48% and 46% at 6 and 18 months ( = 0.061 and 0.018). Two weeks after the last dose, antibodies to circumsporozoite protein and PfSPZ were higher in protected versus unprotected vaccinees. A three-dose regimen of PfSPZ Vaccine demonstrated safety and efficacy against malaria infection in malaria-experienced adults.