The selection of a system suitable for expression of recombinant malaria antigens for vaccine development is, in the final analysis, empirical. However, experience gained with both malaria antigens and other recombinant proteins has provided helpful guidelines. Recombinant DNA technology has been successfully applied to the development of vaccines against a number of human diseases. For example, recombinant DNA-derived hepatitis B virus surface antigen has been produced from both prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Yeast has been demonstrated to be an excellent host for the expression of recombinant proteins with uses in diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccine production. Both intracellular and secretory systems have been developed and optimized for the production of high levels of recombinant proteins. Recombinant DNA technology, and in particular yeast expression systems, have been successfully used to produce malaria antigens, several of which have been protective in various animal models. In contrast, attempts to produce sufficient quantities of antigens for a malaria vaccine from in vitro cultures of the malaria parasite have been unsuccessful. Recombinant proteins can be produced and purified from yeast in large quantities and at low cost, each being requirements for a vaccine to be used in a global vaccination program against malaria.