Researchers used a mathematical model of malaria transmission to find out what will happen when vaccines and bed nets are used together. Professor Mercedes Pascual, co-author of the study, said, "The joint use of bed nets and vaccines would not always lead to consistent increases in the efficacy of malaria control. Our study suggested that the combined use of some malaria vaccines with bed nets can lead to increased morbidity and mortality in older age classes."
Pre-erythrocytic vaccines (PEVs) aim to reduce the chances that a person will be infected when bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito. Blood-stage vaccines (BSVs) do not block infection but try to reduce the level of disease severity and the number of fatalities. Transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) do not protect vaccinated individuals against infection or illness, but prevent mosquitoes from spreading the disease to others after biting a vaccinated person.
The study will appear online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.