Who can participate?
For 2 different malaria research studies, we are looking for volunteers that
- are healthy
- are 18 - 35 years old
- are residing in Nijmegen
- have no history of malaria
Malaria-ResearchAn effective vaccine is imperative in the fight against malaria. The Center for Clinical Malaria Studies has been performing research for more than fifteen years to contribute toward the development of such a vaccine.
Controlled human malaria infections in volunteersDuring controlled human malaria infections (CHMI), we infect healthy volunteers with malaria by having them bitten by malaria-infected mosquitoes. Over the course of the infection, doctors and researchers are able to acquire information about the illness, which they can use to develop better treatment methods. In this way, the effectiveness of a new malaria vaccine can also be tested.
Human testing is necessary because the current animal testing models are not precise enough for human malaria. At the Center for Clinical Malaria Studies at Radboud university medical center, we have more than fifteen years of experience with experimental human malaria studies.
What takes place during a controlled human malaria infection?Step 1: Medical examination
Volunteers will receive a comprehensive medical examination. A volunteer can only participate in the study if he or she is completely healthy.
Step 2: The malaria infection
A cage containing mosquitoes infected with Plasmodium falciparum parasites is placed onto the forearms of the volunteers. These mosquitoes are bred in the malaria unit of Radboud university medical center and have never been in the outside world. The malaria parasites are bred according to the highest quality standards and are susceptible to standard antimalarials.
Step 3: Close medical monitoring
Our clinical-researchers monitor the volunteers daily to see if they develop malaria. If the malaria infection was successful, this is always the case. A volunteer will develop malaria within a maximum of 21 days, but usually between the 7th and 11th day after exposure to the infected mosquitoes. For this reason, beginning on the 6th day after exposure, volunteers will be tested daily during which blood samples will be taken until the infection is detected.
Step 4: Malaria treatment
As soon as the malaria parasites appear in the blood, we will treat the volunteer with highly effective antimalarials. It is expected that the malaria infection will cause most volunteers to develop flu-like symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, and sometimes fever. These symptoms usually disappear within a few days. After this malaria treatment, the malaria parasites will disappear from the body entirely and there is no chance that the infection will return.