A team of scientists in Singapore has taken a step forward in the global fight against malaria with the development of a new type of mouse that has both the human immune system and human red blood cells. This allows the mouse’s immune system to react to human malaria — which only infects human red blood cells — and is expected to accelerate the search for a new malaria treatment or even a vaccine. This is the first animal model that has a human immune system that can be infected by human strains of malaria, said the research team. The mouse model was a culmination of more than three years of work between Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), NTU and SingHealth KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Prof Peter Preiser, Acting Chair of SBS at NTU, said their discovery will help to develop a therapy which helps prevent people dying from malaria.