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Chronicle of a Century’s Search for an Elusive Malaria Vaccine

CONTACT:
Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org



WASHINGTON, DC -- July 17, 2009 -- Malaria is one of humankind’s greatest killers, yet despite the best efforts of scientists, an effective vaccine is still not available to prevent it.  A new book from ASM Press, The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? tells the story of the search for a still unrealized vaccine. 

 

Chronicling a 100-year quest, this book tells the fascinating story of the hunt for the still-elusive malaria vaccine.  Its clear, engaging style makes the book accessible to a general audience and brings to life all the drama of the hunt, celebrating the triumphs and documenting the failures.

 

Authored by Irwin W. Sherman of the University of California, Riverside, The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? is based on his thorough investigation of the scientific literature as well as his first-hand interviews with today’s pioneers in malaria vaccine research.  As a result, the book offers remarkable insights into the keys to a successful malaria vaccine and the obstacles hindering its development.

 

Malaria currently afflicts some 300 to 500 million people.  Moreover, malaria infections have begun to spread and surge in places previously free from the disease.  With the book’s easy-to-follow coverage of such topics as immunity, immunology, recombinant DNA, and monoclonal antibodies, readers gain a new understanding of the disease itself, the importance of microbe hunters, and the need for responsible leadership to face the challenges that lie ahead in the battle against malaria. 

 

“The hunt for a malaria vaccine has been unfolding for a century.  It has been punctuated by periods of intense activity and excitement followed by inaction and boredom.  The quest has been enlivened by controversy; there have been wars of words, and errors have been made, some honest but sometimes not.  Ideas have been stolen, credit for discovery has gone unacknowledged, and there have been and continue to be intense rivalries with clashes of ego and even scandals.  This book tells of slow and erratic research, the promises of success and the disappointing failures, and the fierce competition between microbe hunters who have had as their single goal a protective malaria vaccine able to reduce morbiditiy and mortality by one of the world’s most notorious assassins,” says Sherman.

 

The Elusive Malaria Vaccine: Miracle or Mirage? has a list price of $39.95 and can be purchased through ASM Press online at http://estore.asm.org or through other online retailers.

 

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ASM Press is the book publishing arm of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. The ASM's mission is to promote research in the microbiological sciences and to assist communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public to improve health and foster economic well-being.

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