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A review of malaria vaccine clinical projects based on the WHO rainbow table

Lauren Schwartz12, Graham V Brown3, Blaise Genton45 and Vasee S Moorthy16*

Author Affiliations

1 Initiative for Vaccine Research, Department of Immunization, Vaccines & Biologicals, World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, 1211-CH 27, Geneva, Switzerland

2 Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

3 Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria 3010, Australia

4 Infectious Disease Service & Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland

5 Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Socinstrasse 57, Postfach, 4002 Basel, Switzerland

6 Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, OX3 9DU, Oxford, UK

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Malaria Journal 2012, 11:11  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-11

Published: 9 January 2012


Development and Phase 3 testing of the most advanced malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01, indicates that malaria vaccine R&D is moving into a new phase. Field trials of several research malaria vaccines have also confirmed that it is possible to impact the host-parasite relationship through vaccine-induced immune responses to multiple antigenic targets using different platforms. Other approaches have been appropriately tested but turned out to be disappointing after clinical evaluation.

As the malaria community considers the potential role of a first-generation malaria vaccine in malaria control efforts, it is an apposite time to carefully document terminated and ongoing malaria vaccine research projects so that lessons learned can be applied to increase the chances of success for second-generation malaria vaccines over the next 10 years.

The most comprehensive resource of malaria vaccine projects is a spreadsheet compiled by WHO thanks to the input from funding agencies, sponsors and investigators worldwide. This spreadsheet, available from WHO's website, is known as "the rainbow table". By summarizing the published and some unpublished information available for each project on the rainbow table, the most comprehensive review of malaria vaccine projects to be published in the last several years is provided below.