Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY REVIEWS, Vol. 22, No. 1, Jan. 2009, p. 13–36


Copyright © 2009, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Each year malaria infects about one-half billion people, killing 1 million to 2 million and severely dampening economic development (44, 123, 133, 289, 321a, 321b). The parasitic Plasmodium species causing malaria persist and even flourish despite the availability of tools for prevention, control, and treatment. Those tools consist of an array of drugs, diagnostics, and insecticides and a detailed understanding of the breeding site preferences of the many anopheline mosquito vectors. Despite the tremendous strides in biotechnology during the past 5 decades and the application to malaria of the many breakthroughs in molecular biology, genetics, immunology, and vaccinology by talented researchers, useful vaccines of any type evade us. This review examines one factor that may contribute substantially to this failure: inadequate understanding of naturally acquired immunity (NAI).