Study: New Antibody Treatment Tested for Malaria

Photo: abc

The Facts

  • A new study conducted in the Kalifabougou and Torodo villages of Mali found that a one-time dose of an experimental malaria antibody treatment can protect adults from the disease for at least six months.

  • With the World Health Organization's (WHO) new malaria vaccine for children requiring four doses and only 30% effective, scientists hope the new lab-made, one-dose antibodies will provide an immediate amount of protection instead of relying on the body's immune system.

The Spin

Narrative A

This study is a massive development for millions of Africans — including children and pregnant women — as well as travelers to the continent. The first treatments have already shown profound efficacy, and researchers are now looking into developing shots. This could be a massive breakthrough in providing relief across malaria hot spots.

Narrative B

While this news is certainly a cause for celebration, many issues must be dealt with before we can begin thinking about distributing antibodies as an anti-malarial treatment. It still takes too long to administer this drug intravenously, and children still need to be tested. Cautious optimism is warranted, but there's a long way to go.

Nerd narrative

There is a 44% chance that global malaria mortality rates will be reduced by 90% when compared with 2015 rates, by 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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