Malaria - quo vadis? : Neue Erkenntnisse zur Therapie, Impfstoffentwicklung und Reaktion unseres Immunsystems

Hansen, Wiebke GND

Malaria gehört zu den weltweit bedeutendsten Infektionserkrankungen und tritt in etwa 100 Ländern der tropischen und subtropischen Gebiete auf. Schätzungsweise 40 Prozent der Weltbevölkerung lebt in Malaria-endemischen Gebieten, zu denen Länder in Afrika, Asien und Südamerika gehören. Insbesondere Menschen in Afrika sind mit 90 Prozent der Fälle am meisten betroffen. Weltweit werden jährlich mehr als 200 Millionen Menschen infiziert, und etwa 450.000 versterben in Folge der Infektion. Besonders Kinder unter fünf Jahren und schwangere Frauen haben ein erhöhtes Risiko, eine schwere Malaria zu entwickeln.

Malaria is still one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide. Each year, more than 200 million people are infected and nearly half a million people, in particular children under five years of age, die from the infection. Plasmodium species are the causative agents of malaria. These parasites are transmitted by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes and have a complex life cycle in humans and mosquitoes. Several effective drugs exist for the treatment of malaria, including artemisinin-based combination therapies, but more and more drug-resistant parasites have emerged. Different vaccination strategies have been developed, but most have failed. RTS,S was the only vaccine tested in phase III clinical trials. Despite initial promising results, RTS,S provides only short-lived, partial protection against malaria. To date, it is well established that T-lymphocytes and antibody responses play a crucial role during immune responses against Plasmodium. However, there are still many fundamental questions as to how our immune system reacts and how it is controlled during malaria. A better understanding of the mechanistic processes of the immunology should help in the development of more practical and reliable immunization and therapeutic interventions to control or eliminate malaria.

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Hansen, W., 2020. Malaria - quo vadis?: Neue Erkenntnisse zur Therapie, Impfstoffentwicklung und Reaktion unseres Immunsystems. Medizin: Infektionskrankheiten - ein globales Problem. https://doi.org/10.17185/duepublico/71638
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