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May 6, 1983

Slow progress toward a malaria 'vaccine'

JAMA. 1983;249(17):2296-2297. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330410010005

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Resistance of parasites to drugs and vectors to insecticides, as well as the cost and immensity of malaria control, are frequently cited reasons for failure to eradicate the disease.

Hence, investigators in a network of more than 30 malaria research centers, largely funded by the Agency for International Development, consider a vaccine an urgently needed ally.

This ally is now closer to becoming a reality mainly because of evolving hybridoma technology and its use by Ruth S. Nussenzweig, MD, PhD, professor of microbiology and head, Division of Parasitology, New York University (NYU) Medical Center, New York City.

With her immunologist-husband Victor Nussenzweig, MD, professor of pathology at NYU, and colleagues worldwide—including, notably, investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Bethesda, Md—she has begun to determine the makeup of cell surface antigens that appear to help the Plasmodium sporozoite (the first of three extracellular developmental stages of