Malaria vaccines are an area of intensive research. However, there is no effective vaccine that has been introduced into clinical practice. There is one candidate vaccine, known as RTS,S/AS01, which started Pivotal Phase III evaluation in May 2009 and is designed not for travellers but for children resident in malaria-endemic areas who suffer the burden of disease and death related to malaria.
The global burden of P. falciparum malaria increased through the 1990s due to drug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes; this is illustrated by re-emergence of the disease in areas that had been previously malaria-free. The first decade of the 21st century has seen reduction. Though the reasons are not entirely clear, improving socioeconomic indices, deployment of artemisinin-combination drugs and insecticide-treated bednets are all likely to have contributed. There has been a major scaling-up in distribution of malaria control measures particularly since the advent of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It is unclear what the future will hold for disease burden trends. If political will and funding is maintained, the disease burden could drop further; if as in the past funding lapses or clinically significant resistance develops to the main antimalarial drugs and insecticides used then the disease burden may rise again. Early evidence of resistance to artemisinins, the most important class of antimalarials, is now confirmed, having manifested as... Read More