Researchers begin clinical trial to assess schistosomiasis vaccine
Participant in KPWHRI trial receives world’s first-ever injection of investigational SchistoShield vaccine
An estimated 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis and an additional estimated 800 million people are at risk of acquiring the disease. Schistosomiasis, caused by parasitic worms, is estimated to cause 280,000 deaths annually in 78 countries. Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) researchers are conducting a clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of an investigational schistosomiasis vaccine. The trial could help pave the way for the world’s first vaccine against the disease, offering a safe and cost-effective option to lower its prevalence worldwide and prevent deaths.
Currently, schistosomiasis is mainly treated with the drug praziquantel. However, the drug has been found to be insufficient due to its limited impact on the reduction of disease transmission and infection rates remain high.
“Schistosomiasis remains a major public health problem due to its high levels of morbidity and mortality in many parts of the world,” said Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and study principal investigator. “An effective schistosome vaccine could offer sustainable reduction in both the prevalence and transmission of the disease, saving lives around the world.”
This new trial will assess the safety of the Sm-p80 + GLA-SE (SchistoShield®) study vaccine. The research will measure indicators of immunity to schistosomiasis. The study will also assess whether the vaccine prompts an immune response, leading to the generation of antibodies that can prevent infection.