Malaria Vaccines

Soldier in the field

Malaria among remains the most significant infectious disease facing U.S. Service Members deployed around the world. Infection with malaria is responsible for an estimated 5,300-21,000 lost work hours and $1.12-4.37 million per year in evacuation and medical care costs despite existing countermeasures like chemoprophylactic drugs, permethrin-impregnated uniforms, bed nets, and DEET. These infections are largely driven by poor adherence to personal protective measures, chemoprophylaxis, and rising regional drug resistance.

A safe, durable, and efficacious malaria vaccine will eliminate the burden of compliance and associated side effects of daily or weekly chemoprophylaxis, overcome regional drug resistance to currently available antimalarials, and provide an alternative to individuals with G6PD deficiency. Protection against malaria infection improves unit readiness and the likeliness of mission success.

MVB is an integrated, broad, translational enterprise spanning discovery science to field efficacy trials. Our mission is to develop new vaccines and other products to reliably prevent malaria infection in military personnel by maintaining robust, expert competency in basic and applied research areas in order to transition candidate products to advanced clinical testing in endemic areas.

Research Areas

two Soldier scientists in a lab
Core Competencies

MVB researchers utilize a multidisciplinary approach with expertise in biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, parasitology, product development, cGLP/cGMP, medicine, and clinical trial execution to develop and refine products to safeguard Soldiers from malaria.

scientist using an assay to screen products
Discovery Program

MVB researchers discover and refine monoclonal antibodies, antigens, and novel countermeasure delivery platforms (including mRNA, TMV, nanoparticles, soluble protein, DNA) in addition to conducting malaria parasite diversity surveillance to advance new malaria countermeasures.

p vivax seen under a microscope
Malaria Models

MVB researchers collaborate with Entomology to maintain the malaria parasite throughout its life cycle for use in pre-clinical and clinical studies, including the CHMI model. A leader in malaria vaccine research, MVB has successfully completed the world’s largest CHMI study ever conducted. 

examining samples under a fume hood
Malaria Diagnostics

In conjunction with MHRP, MVB is validating an FDA-cleared, CAP-certified malaria PCR diagnostic assay developed by collaborators at the University of Washington to allow earlier and more sensitive detection of malaria infections in CHMI studies compared to microscopy.

collecting samples from a participant for testing
International Reference Laboratories

MVB operates the Flow Cytometry Core and Malaria Serology Reference Laboratory to identify blood and immune biomarkers to facilitate the discovery and development of malaria countermeasures.