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Malaria Infection Diagnosed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) as a Means of Evaluating Pre-erythrocytic Candidate Malaria Vaccines

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00121823
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : July 21, 2005
Last Update Posted : January 12, 2017
Information provided by (Responsible Party):

Study Description
Brief Summary:
The ability to test candidate pre-erythrocytic stage malaria vaccines, using a well-established sporozoite challenge model, in a field setting with group sizes of tens rather than hundreds of volunteers would greatly facilitate identification of the most promising vaccine candidates. The investigators assessed the suitability and acceptability of this method in a field trial in semi-immune volunteers exposed to natural infection during the high malaria transmission season.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Malaria Biological: FP9 ME-TRAP Biological: MVA ME-TRAP Phase 1 Phase 2

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Detailed Description:


The primary objective of the study was to determine if the very sensitive PCR technique, capable of detecting malaria parasites at low densities could be used as an economical method of undertaking preliminary field evaluation of pre-erythrocytic malaria vaccines. A secondary objective was to determine if the intensive blood sampling that this method requires would be acceptable.

Study area

This study was conducted from June to October 2004 when the incidence of malaria in The Gambia is highest. Volunteers were recruited from 9 villages east of Farafenni, a town which is 200km east of the capital city, Banjul. Malaria is highly seasonal in this area with an entomological inoculation rate between 10 and 50 infectious bites per year.

Study population

Healthy volunteers aged between 15-45 years were screened at two centres for their eligibility to take part in the study. Screening involved a thorough physical examination as well as blood sampling tests for haematological (full blood count, packed cell volume [PCV]), renal (plasma creatinine level) and hepatic (alanine amino transferase) tests and for HIV 1 and 2 tests by ELISA. A glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency test was carried out because of the risk involved with administering the study drugs Primaquine and Lapdap to volunteers who are G6PD deficient. Exclusion criteria included a PCV < 30%, raised plasma creatinine (> 130 micromoles/litre) or ALT levels (> 42 IU/litre), G6PD deficiency, simultaneous participation in another clinical trial, blood transfusion in the month prior to vaccination, previous experimental malaria vaccination, administration of another vaccine within 2 weeks of vaccination, allergy to any previous vaccination or to sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine, history of splenectomy and any treatment with immunosuppressive drugs.

Study procedure

Eligible volunteers were enrolled into the study after written, informed consent was obtained. All eligible volunteers were issued a unique number and a photo identification card. Volunteers were randomly allocated into three groups to receive either two 5 x10^7 pfu doses of FP9 ME-TRAP followed by a single dose of 1 x 10^8 pfu MVA ME-TRAP (malaria vaccine group) or 3 doses of rabies vaccine (Fansidar and rabies groups). All vaccines were give 4 weeks apart and were administered intradermally. Following vaccination, all volunteers were observed for 1 hr and given a course of anti-pyretic (paracetamol) to take if required. In addition, home visits were made by field workers on days 1, 2, 7 and 28 after each vaccination to record adverse events using a standard diary card. All volunteers received a single dose of Primaquine (30mg) 7 days before the final dose of vaccination as radical cure for gametocytes and a 3-day course of the short acting anti-malaria drugs, Lapdap and Artesunate in combination starting on the day of final vaccination to clear any asexual forms of the parasite before the follow-up period. Additionally, volunteers in the Fansidar group received the long acting anti-malarial drug and were expected to remain PCR negative throughout the follow-up period. Volunteers were followed up intensively for 28 days starting 7days after the last vaccination. The period of follow-up was timed to correspond with the period of high malaria transmission. Follow-up was by daily finger-pricks to obtain 0.5mls of blood in a microtainer for PCR analysis and a duplicate blood film for estimation of malaria parasites. Laboratory staff that conducted immunoassays and PCR analysis were blind to the group allocation of volunteers until after approval of the analysis plan by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB).

Sample size

Based on practical and statistical considerations the researchers proposed to enroll 40 volunteers per group (a total of 120). Allowing for a steady rate of drop-out during follow up amounting to total of 20% of subjects by the end of the trial, the trial has at least 80% power to detect a difference in time to infection between the malaria vaccine and rabies groups, if the vaccine efficacy is at least 60%, and at least 70% of the control group volunteers develop detected parasitaemia during the trial.

Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)

A DSMB was set up to oversee the conduct of the trial and approve the analytical plan before unblinding the laboratory staff. The trial was conducted according to ICH Good Clinical Practice guidelines and was guided by the Medical Research Council regulations for the conduct of clinical trials.

Study Design

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 120 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Malaria Infection Diagnosed by PCR as a Means of Evaluating Pre-erythrocytic Candidate Malaria Vaccines
Study Start Date : June 2004
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2004

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Malaria
U.S. FDA Resources

Arms and Interventions

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Suitability and acceptability of study method

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Prevention of malaria parasitaemia

Eligibility Criteria

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   15 Years to 45 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy volunteers aged 15-45 years
  • Signed informed consent form

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Clinically significant history of skin disorder (eczema, psoriasis, etc.), allergy, immunodeficiency, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, endocrine disorder, liver disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal disease or neurological illness.
  • Any clinical evidence of immunosuppression such as oral candida, stomatitis, aphthous or septic ulceration, septic skin lesions or any clinical or laboratory evidence of infection or immunosuppression.
  • History of splenectomy
  • Haematocrit of less than 30%
  • Serum creatinine concentration >130mmol/L
  • Serum ALT concentration >80 IU/L
  • Blood transfusion within one month of the beginning of the study
  • History of vaccination with a previous experimental malaria vaccine
  • Administration of any other vaccine or immunoglobulin within two weeks of scheduled vaccination.
  • Positive HIV antibody test.
  • Positive colorimetric test for G-6-P-D deficiency.
  • Current participation in another clinical trial, or within 12 weeks of this study.
  • Lack of parental consent if volunteer is aged under 18
  • Likelihood of travel away from the study area for the duration of the study
  • Any other finding which in the opinion of the investigators would increase the risk of an adverse outcome from participation in the trial
  • Known allergy to sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine (SP), Artesunate or Lapdap
  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Egg allergy
Contacts and Locations

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00121823

Medical Research Council Laboratories
Banjul, Gambia, P.O.Box 273, Banjul
Sponsors and Collaborators
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Medical Research Council Unit, The Gambia
University of Oxford
Wellcome Trust
Study Chair: Adrian VS Hill, Phd University of Oxford
Study Director: Brian M Greenwood, MD Gates Malaria Partnership
More Information

Responsible Party: Brian Greenwood, Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00121823     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ITDCVG37
VAC 029
First Posted: July 21, 2005    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 12, 2017
Last Verified: January 2017

Keywords provided by Brian Greenwood, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Protozoan Infections
Parasitic Diseases
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs