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Clinical trial testing for a malaria vaccine in a small group of people could begin within 18 months, researchers said.
Doctor Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said researchers found "a novel and different type of an approach toward a vaccine".
He added: "It's profoundly important to develop an effective malaria vaccine."
Director of Rhode Island Hospital's Center for International Health Research, doctor Jonathan Kurtis, said researchers found that antibodies sent by the body's immune system, acted on a protein and trapped the parasites inside the red blood cells, blocking the progression of the disease.
A promising new approach intended to imprison malaria causing parasites inside infected red blood cells has been developed by scientists.
Researchers said an experimental vaccine based on this idea protected mice in five trials and will be tested on lab monkeys beginning in the next four to six weeks. The disease kills a child every minute in Africa.
Using blood samples and epidemiological data collected from hundreds of children in Tanzania, where malaria is endemic, the researchers pinpointed a protein, called PfSEA-1, that the parasites need in order to escape from inside red blood cells they infect as they cause malaria.