The development of highly effective and durable vaccines against the human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax remains a key priority. Decades of endeavor have taught that achieving this goal will be challenging; however, recent innovation in malaria vaccine research and a diverse pipeline of novel vaccine candidates for clinical assessment provides optimism. With first-generation pre-erythrocytic vaccines aiming for licensure in the coming years, it is important to reflect on how next-generation approaches can improve on their success. Here we review the latest vaccine approaches that seek to prevent malaria infection, disease, and transmission and highlight some of the major underlying immunological and molecular mechanisms of protection. The synthesis of rational antigen selection, immunogen design, and immunization strategies to induce quantitatively and qualitatively improved immune effector mechanisms offers promise for achieving sustained high-level protection. Development of highly effective vaccines against human malaria remains a public health priority. In this Review, Draper et al. describe the latest vaccine approaches to prevent malaria alongside immunological and molecular mechanisms of protection. Rational antigen selection, immunogen design, and novel immunization strategies offer promise for achieving high-level protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas