Monoclonal Antibodies for Malaria

04 Aug 2022
The New England Journal of Medicine

DOI: 10.1056/NEJMe2208131

Photo: Qvist_Shutterstock

Abstract

Malaria is a devastating disease. It was the cause of 627,000 deaths worldwide in 2020, and malaria-related mortality has increased by more than 10% over the past 3 years. Although there are highly effective treatments, the development of multidrug-resistant strains poses a great threat to the control and elimination of malaria. Moreover, prevention is a better strategy than treatment. Despite several approaches to prevent established infection, no single approach offers complete protection, so a multilayered approach is needed. One potential layer, the monoclonal antibody is the focus of a trial by Wu and colleagues1 and the editorial by Daily2 in this issue of the Journal. They describe protection conferred by a long-acting, next-generation monoclonal antibody against controlled human malaria infection in healthy persons.

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1. Wu RLIdris AHBerkowitz NM, et al. Low-dose subcutaneous or intravenous monoclonal antibody to prevent malaria. N Engl J Med 2022;387:397-407.
 
2. Daily JP. Monoclonal antibodies — a different approach to combat malaria. N Engl J Med 2022;387:460-461.