FIRST HUMAN TRIAL OF MALARIA VACCINE IN INDIA
Malaria vaccine will be clinically tested on humans for the first time in India in two
malaria prone areas-Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.
“A malaria affected area at Sundergarh district in Orissa and Mandla block near
Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh are the two sites selected closew to the sophisticated
laboratories of National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) in Rourkela and Jabalpur,
respectively, gfor clinical tests,” said NIMR Director. According to him, the vaccine,
which is being developed at the International Center for Genetic Engineering and
Biotechnology in New Delhi and Atlanta based Center for Disease Control and
Prevention in the US, would be tried in Sundergarh and Mandla respectively..
‘Along with field studies, epidemiological and immunological data on people living here
are being collected now. Survey and compilation of data for at least five years before
the vaccine trial are mandatory,” Director A. P. Das said.
These areas were ideal for malaria vaccine trial due to presence of two malaria
spreading mosquitoes-anopheles culicifacies and anopheles fluviatilis – in high numbers
throughout the year.
‘The presence of two malaria causing parasites, plasmodium vivax and plasmodium
falciparum, makes these tribal dominated areas suitable for trials,” Das added. The
presence of genetic disorders among people here also helps in making these areas
highly malarious regions which is required for the trial.
-DR. NAVRAJ SINGH SANDHU, email@example.com