Topic > Infectious Diseases
Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called malaria vectors. There are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and two of these species (P. falciparum and P. vivax) pose the greatest threat. Malaria is a major disease burden in tropical low-income countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.
Can Malaria Transmission be Inhibited?
The main way to prevent malaria transmission is to reduce the mosquito bites, for example with insecticide treated bed nets or indoor residual spraying. When appropriate, the use of larvicides at the breeding sites could also reduce the population of adult mosquitoes.
Hope Lies with Malaria Vaccine Development
Malaria cases can be treated with artemisinin-based combination therapy. To date there is no malaria vaccine on the market, but there are promising candidates, such as the RTS, S vaccine, the world’s currently most advanced malaria vaccine.