Low birth weight in Papua New Guinea is a killer. Help us research what is causing low birth weight in PNG so that we can stop it.
Plasmodium vivax parasites cause the majority of malaria cases outside Africa, and are increasingly being acknowledged as a cause of severe disease. The unique attributes of P. vivax biology, particularly the capacity of the dormant liver stage, the hypnozoite, to maintain blood-stage infections even in the absence of active transmission, make blood-stage vaccines particularly attractive for this species. However, P. vivax vaccine development remains resolutely in first gear, with only a single blood-stage candidate having been evaluated in any depth. Experience with Plasmodium falciparum suggests that a much broader search for new candidates and a deeper understanding of high priority targets will be required to make significant advances. This review discusses some of the particular challenges of P. vivax blood-stage vaccine development, highlighting both recent advances and key remaining barriers to overcome in order to move development forward.