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Unexpected antibody type in people with malaria infections detected

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 3rd November, 2021 06:28:33 PM
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Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have detected antibodies primarily made in response to infections in the mucous membranes -- in such areas as the lungs, intestines, or vagina -- in study participants with malaria, reports ANI.

The findings of the study were published in 'NPJ Vaccines'.

The researchers have said that their unexpected finding provides new insight into how the human body responds to malaria infection and may ultimately help to identify new ways to treat malaria or develop vaccines.

More than 400,000 people die each year of malaria infections, with more than two-thirds of these deaths in children under 5 years old, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

In early October 2021, the WHO recommended widespread use of a new malaria vaccine in children who live in regions with moderate to higher malaria transmission rates, the first human vaccine to be recommended for a parasite infection.

While the vaccine would prevent millions of infections and save thousands of lives, the researchers are actively pursuing the next generation of malaria vaccines that may be even more effective.

The body's immune system creates different kinds of antibodies to help clear infections and prevent reinfection. In an earlier small study, the research team was studying other antibody responses in patients with malaria infection.

While they detected the IgM antibody, which appears early in many infections, along with IgG, which is the most abundant antibody, they also found IgA antibodies. Researchers decided to follow up with a new study to examine more samples to confirm what they had observed and to study additional groups of people.