Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26476361
Vaccine 2015 Dec;33(52):7544-50
A licensed malaria vaccine would provide a valuable new tool for malaria control and elimination efforts. Several candidate vaccines targeting different stages of the malaria parasite’s lifecycle are currently under development, with one candidate, RTS,S/AS01 for the prevention of Plasmodium falciparum infection, having recently completed Phase III trials. Predicting the public health impact of a candidate malaria vaccine requires using clinical trial data to estimate the vaccine’s efficacy profile–the initial efficacy following vaccination and the pattern of waning of efficacy over time. With an estimated vaccine efficacy profile, the effects of vaccination on malaria transmission can be simulated with the aid of mathematical models. Here, we provide an overview of methods for estimating the vaccine efficacy profiles of pre-erythrocytic vaccines and transmission-blocking vaccines from clinical trial data. In the case of RTS,S/AS01, model estimates from Phase II clinical trial data indicate a bi-phasic exponential profile of efficacy against infection, with efficacy waning rapidly in the first 6 months after vaccination followed by a slower rate of waning over the next 4 years. Transmission-blocking vaccines have yet to be tested in large-scale Phase II or Phase III clinical trials so we review ongoing work investigating how a clinical trial might be designed to ensure that vaccine efficacy can be estimated with sufficient statistical power. Finally, we demonstrate how parameters estimated from clinical trials can be used to predict the impact of vaccination campaigns on malaria using a mathematical model of malaria transmission.