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Microbe Fighting Roundup

January 22, 2010

A new nasal vaccine could combat malaria.


Vaccinating mosquitoes. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Researchers in Japan have developed a nasal vaccine that stops the transmission of malaria by keeping the malaria parasite from breeding in mosquitoes. The researchers gave the vaccine to malaria-infected mice. When mosquitoes bit them, they took in antibodies that stopped the malaria parasites from reproducing. If it proves safe and effective in people, it could be one more tool to stop the spread of the disease.

In other medical research, scientists in Germany have isolated a germ-fighting protein from the Hydra, a tiny water organism. The new protein, called armenin 1a, is effective against a variety of bacteria, including multi-drug resistent Staph. The team is studying the hydra and its relatives to see if they might produce other bacteria-fighting compounds. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.