Dutch hospitals test using mouse parasite as malaria vaccine

Mosquito (Source: Wikimedia/JJ Harrison)
. Mosquito (Source: Wikimedia/JJ Harrison)

The Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen is teaming up with Erasmus MC and the Haven hospital in Rotterdam for an experiment in using a parasite found in mice for a new malaria vaccine for humans. The first three volunteers were given a genetically modified rodent malaria as vaccine on Tuesday, the Telegraaf reports. 

A specific gene that protects humans against malaria was added to the rodent malaria parasite. A protein that is produced from this will help protect humans against the mosquito borne virus, according to the newspaper. The rodent parasite, called Plasmodium berghei, can't make humans ill.

In 2015 an estimated 500 thousand people died of malaria, many of whom were young African children, according to the Dutch hospitals. 

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