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Book by UCR biologist tells story of 100-year quest for elusive malaria vaccine
Date:9/29/2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. A deadly disease, malaria afflicts 350-500 million people worldwide each year and kills more than a million people. Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, the disease occurs in more than 100 countries and territories, with at least 40 percent of the world's population at risk.

Understandably, an area of intensive research is the development of an effective malaria vaccine. Yet, despite decades of research that has resulted in four Nobel prizes awarded for malaria work, no effective vaccine against the disease has been introduced into clinical practice. Indeed, the year 2010 will mark the hundredth anniversary of the first attempt at a malaria vaccine.

Now in his book, The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? (American Society for Microbiology Press, 2009), Irwin Sherman, a professor emeritus of biology at the University of California, Riverside, chronicles the 100-year quest for the still-elusive vaccine.

"I wrote this book to make the science of malaria vaccines accessible and understandable to a general audience," Sherman said. "In the book I offer insight into the problems associated with the development of malaria vaccines and I address the public's curiosity about them, as well as the reasoning behind the need for developing vaccines."

A legitimate question that may be asked is why a protective vaccine against malaria has remained so elusive. The problem, according to Sherman, does not lie in a lack of communication.

"After all, stories of malaria vaccines have been told in thousands of scientific papers, in newspaper and magazine articles," he said. "I believe the fault lies in the fact that the message for a protective vaccine has not been specifically addressed to a general audience so that an under
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Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert  

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