Date of this Version
The development of a vaccine against malaria is a major research priority given the burden of disease, death and economic loss inflicted upon the tropical world by this parasite. Despite decades of effort, however, a vaccine remains elusive. The best candidate is a subunit vaccine termed RTS,S but this provides only partial protection against clinical disease. This review examines what is known about protective immunity against pre-erythrocytic stage malaria by considering the humoral and T cell-mediated immune responses that are induced by attenuated sporozoites and by the RTS,S vaccine. On the basis of these observations a set of research priorities are defined that are crucial for the development of a vaccine capable of inducing long-lasting and high-grade protection against malaria.