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The Development of Vaccine Against Pregnancy-Associated Malaria - PAMVAC (Pregnancy-Associated Malaria Vaccine)
Framework programme:
Project number:
EC contribution:
€ 1 503 210
36 months
Starting date:
1 September 2001

Keywords: Malaria; vaccine; pregnancy


Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) can cause infant mortality, premature delivery, low birth weight and anaemia, and death in the mother. It is a major global public health problem. This RTD project focuses on the antigen validation and development phase of designing a vaccine against the severe mother and infant pathology associated with Plasmodiumfalciparum malaria infection in pregnancy and emphasises the development of a vaccine to protect pregnant women and their newborns from the adverse effects of malarial infections.


Plasmodium falciparum malaria remains a leading health problem in the world. In malaria-endemic areas, substantial clinical protection is acquired during the first decade of life and the majority of malaria-related morbidity and mortality is concentrated in young children. In contrast to the general absence of malaria in adults, pregnant women in endemic areas are highly susceptible to malaria. There is an apparent loss of immunity during pregnancy, since pregnant women are more likely to suffer the deleterious effects of malaria than non-pregnant women are. Increased frequency of infection and density of parasitaemia are observed, the placenta is often heavily infected and the disease has a higher severity in first pregnancies than in subsequent pregnancies, making younger mothers a particularly vulnerable group. PAM is widely acknowledged to be a major and neglected health problem for women, particularly in Africa and South-East Asia.

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