Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have created a new multiple malaria vaccine which they believe could be the first to tackle different forms of the disease and help those most vulnerable to infection.
The new vaccine is designed to trigger production of a range of antibodies to fight the many different types of parasite causing the disease.
It has been developed by combining multiple versions of a key protein found in many types of malaria parasite, which is known to trigger production of antibodies upon infection.
Mixing multiple proteins from various parasite types induces antibodies against a wide range of the parasites causing the disease.
The researchers say that because malaria parasites exist in many forms, the only way to gain natural immunity against all strains is by having multiple bouts of the illness.
A vaccine that overcomes this could be especially useful in children and other vulnerable groups of people.
The new vaccine has also shown to be effective in animals.
The study has been published in PLoS One.