Vaccines Make Malaria More Virulent: PLoS Study

As we’ve seen in so many other areas of modern medicine, the standard treatments are playing with fire, resulting in more virulent diseases and loss of ability to treat them. Malaria vaccines make the disease more virulent.

by Heidi Stevenson

Is there any sense in vaccinating people against a disease if the vaccines will result in a more virulent form of the disease? That’s exactly the case with malaria vaccines, as demonstrated in a PLoS study.

It should come as no surprise that the malaria parasite, Plasmodium chabaudi, becomes more virulent as a result of vaccination. The bane of eradication and treatment attempts has proven to be its ability to rapidly evolve in response to such pressures. Now, a study on malaria vaccines in mice has documented the likelihood of both more virulent and infectious malarial infections as a result of attempts to immunize against it.

The study summarized[1]:

We found that a more virulent parasite clone was less well controlled by vaccine-induced immunity than was its less virulent ancestor. We then passaged parasites through sham- or vaccinated mice to study how the parasites might evolve after multiple rounds of infection of mouse hosts. The parasite molecule targeted by the vaccine did not change during this process. Instead, the parasites became more virulent if they evolved in vaccinated hosts. Our data suggest that some vaccines can drive the evolution of more virulent parasites.

Therefore, though it’s possible that malaria might temporarily be improved by vaccination, ultimately the situation would be made worse. The only questions are how much worse and how long.

No, malaria is no walk in the park, but before we continue on this mad vaccine venture in a vain attempt to wipe it from the face of the earth, perhaps it’s time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about this insane modern medical paradigm.

The good news is that no malaria vaccine has yet been licensed. The bad news is that Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation apparently is bound and determined to get one developed. Considering how little efficacy he seems to require of the cholera vaccine, which he promotes—only 65% in studies performed by employees of the manufacturer & financed by the Gates Foundation, which is invested in the manufacturer’s parent corporation—it shouldn’t be too long before at least one is marketed.

Prior to the study titled “The Evolutionary Consequences of Blood-Stage Vaccination on the Rodent Malaria Plasmodium chabaudi“, it was known that worsening of virulence could occur from a vaccine that uses the whole parasite. However, this study demonstrated that the same thing is true when only a single protein from the parasite is used.

By the time the plasmodium parasites had cycled through 20 vaccinated mice, they had grown far more virulent, resulting in much faster growth of the pathogen and destruction of 20% more red blood cells. Control mice did not develop the more virulent malaria.

As pointed out by researcher Andrew F. Read, the concept has not been documented in human malaria hosts. However, to base any vaccine program on an assumption that it won’t happen would be foolish in the extreme. The fact is that we do know that pertussis (whooping cough) has become more virulent as a direct result of the vaccine, and has been infecting primarily vaccinated people. With the information we now have, surely the cautionary principle should be used—though there’s no indication that’s likely to happen.

Leaky Vaccines

A leaky vaccine is one that does not kill all of the pathogens. Malaria vaccines are definitely leaky. These leaky vaccines let some of the pathogens survive. The pathogens that survive are, by definition, stronger. Thus, malaria vaccines can be expected to directly and quickly produce worse disease.

Historically, it’s been well known that vaccines can result in pathogens that are resistant to the antigen used in a vaccine. Therefore, different antigens must be developed and used in vaccines to be able to continue the vaccination program. However, this study has shown that the situation is worse with malaria. No antigen resistance develops. However, because malaria vaccines are leaky, there will always be some pathogen survival.

The surviving pathogens are apparently selecting for more rapid reproduction and growth, resulting in overwhelming the host more readily. Researcher Read has stated that a change in the plasmodium genome must be occurring.

Playing with Fire

There is no question that malaria is a serious disease. That, though, does not mean it’s rational to opt for vaccines as the best method to deal with it. There are other approaches that help tremendously. Mosquito nets help keep infected mosquitoes from getting to sleeping people, which is when most mosquito bites happen. There are mosquito abatement programs that can help. There are treatments for it, and alternative medicines have had significant success in malaria treatment.

However, as Sayer Ji recently pointed out in “8 Ways Microbes Can Save Us From Ourselves“:

Thankfully, we are not alone. We have helpers all around and within us. Friendly bacteria (and beneficial yeast), with which we co-evolved, and have formed symbiotic alliances with, outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, numbering in the trillions. It has been proposed that our very definition of self should be updated to include these “others,” and that humans are truly a “meta-organism.”

Microorganisms are not necessarily our enemy. We can even coexist with those that we consider to be particularly harmful if we keep ourselves genuinely healthy. That, of course, doesn’t mean trying to keep sickness at bay with drugs. It means encouraging a healthy internal and external biota, which are the focus of our immune system and even necessary for assimilation of food.

Playing with fire—attempting to burn out anything that we consider to be disease-inducing—is a dangerous game. We’re seeing the results in drug-resistant diseases like MRSA and C. difficile. We’re seeing the whooping cough vaccine lose effectiveness as a more virulent form of the disease is now being passed around. The dreaded E. coli exists as a pathogen only because of modern medicine’s drugs. Through vaccinations, we’ve induced unbalanced gut biota in nearly every person alive today, and we’re seeing chronic disease epidemics the likes of which have never before been seen.

No, malaria is no walk in the park, but before we continue on this mad vaccine venture in a vain attempt to wipe it from the face of the earth, perhaps it’s time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about this insane modern medical paradigm. We haven’t become healthier. We’ve grown sicker and sicker, spending our lives in states of debility and misery. It’s time to step back from the brink.


  1. The Evolutionary Consequences of Blood-Stage Vaccination on the Rodent Malaria Plasmodium chabaudi, PLoS Biology, Victoria C. Barclay, Derek Sim, Brian H. K. Chan, Lucas A. Nell, Maia A. Rabaa, Andrew S. Bell, Robin F. Anders, Andrew F. Read. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001368
  2. Malaria parasites evolve in vaccinated mice to cause more severe disease
  3. Dangerous Malaria Gives Researchers Concern
  4. Vaccine Research Shows Vigilance Needed Against Evolution of More-Virulent Malaria

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