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RVC Scientists see Development in Research for Malaria Immunisation

22nd December 2023

Researchers from RVC have been involved in the publishing of a recent article that has led scientists to believe they are in a better position to create malaria immunisations. 

The article, which can be found in the Nature journal, saw the collaboration of RVC researchers and scholars at the University of Oxford analyse the function of the Plasmodium parasite in the spread of malaria. 

While acknowledging that additional research is necessary to protect individuals from the disease, the researchers state that knowing the process presents an “exciting opportunity” for future developments. 

It is estimated that malaria takes 600,000 lives annually, with kids across Africa suffering an excessive number of these deaths. 

Ellen Knuepfer, RVC vaccinology professor, commented, “Our results demonstrate that the essential multi-protein PfRCR complex does not function to create a molecular pore in the red blood cell membrane, but rather as a molecular bridge, connecting the parasite to the red blood cell membrane during invasion.” 

The leader of the Higgins team, Matthew Higgins, stated, “We are delighted to be able to see, for the first time, this piece of molecular machinery which is essential for the malaria parasite to get inside our red blood cells.” 

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