The MARVELS team recently met students from Malawi Health Sciences to explain what the study is about and how it works to attract potential new participants.
According to MARVELS clinical lead Dr Ben Morton, the event was a public engagement tool to discuss a new randomised controlled trial that seeks to understand why the PCV13 vaccine, used in the Malawi national programme since 2011 to protect against bacterial pneumonia caused by pneumococcus, is less effective at promoting herd immunity in sub–Saharan Africa compared to countries in the global North.
“Controlled human infection studies are now established in much of the world and have led to the development of new vaccines, especially targeting Malaria and Typhoid. However, this concept is new to Malawi and ours is the first controlled human infection model established here.
The event was incredibly important to explain what controlled human infection means and how we meticulously ensure participant safety. The overall aim of our programme is to promote development of more effective vaccinations for this context. This project straddles two themes at MLW, Vaccines and Clinical and Experimental Medicine. The project is truly multidisciplinary, including clinical, microbiology, immunology and social science elements,” said Dr Ben Morton.