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Immunogenicity of full-length P. vivax rPvs48/45 protein formulations in BALB/c mice

November 25, 2021 - 13:04 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Arévalo-Herrera M, Miura K, Solano E, Sebastián Ramírez J, Long CA, Corradin G, Herrera S
Reference: 
Vaccine. 2021 Nov 18:S0264-410X(21)01481-X

Pvs48/45 is a Plasmodium vivax gametocyte surface protein involved in the parasite fertilization process. Previous studies showed that Pvs48/45 proteins expressed in Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were highly immunoreactive with sera from malaria-endemic areas and highly immunogenic in animal models. Here the immunogenicity in mice of three different vaccine formulations was compared.

Safety, infectivity and immunogenicity of a genetically attenuated blood-stage malaria vaccine

November 25, 2021 - 13:03 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Webster R, Sekuloski S, McCarthy JS, et al.
Reference: 
BMC Med. 2021 Nov 22;19(1):293

There is a clear need for novel approaches to malaria vaccine development. We aimed to develop a genetically attenuated blood-stage vaccine and test its safety, infectivity, and immunogenicity in healthy volunteers. Our approach was to target the gene encoding the knob-associated histidine-rich protein (KAHRP), which is responsible for the assembly of knob structures at the infected erythrocyte surface. Knobs are required for correct display of the polymorphic adhesion ligand P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1), a key virulence determinant encoded by a repertoire of var genes.

Cohort profile: the Mancio Lima cohort study of urban malaria in Amazonian Brazil

November 25, 2021 - 13:00 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Johansen IC, Rodrigues PT, Tonini J, Vinetz J, Castro MC, Ferreira MU
Reference: 
BMJ Open. 2021 Nov 17;11(11):e048073

This population-based open cohort study aims to investigate biological and sociodemographic drivers of malaria transmission in the main urban hotspot of Amazonian Brazil.

G-quadruplex RNA motifs influence gene expression in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum

November 25, 2021 - 12:48 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Dumetz F, Chow EY, Harris LM, Liew SW, Jensen A, Umar MI, Chung B, Chan TF, Merrick CJ, Kwok CK
Reference: 
Nucleic Acids Res. 2021 Nov 18:gkab1095

G-quadruplexes are non-helical secondary structures that can fold in vivo in both DNA and RNA. In human cells, they can influence replication, transcription and telomere maintenance in DNA, or translation, transcript processing and stability of RNA. We have previously showed that G-quadruplexes are detectable in the DNA of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, despite a very highly A/T-biased genome with unusually few guanine-rich sequences. Here, we show that RNA G-quadruplexes can also form in P. falciparum RNA, using rG4-seq for transcriptome-wide structure-specific RNA probing.

Not Open Access | Safety and efficacy of a three-dose regimen of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite vaccine in adults during an intense malaria transmission season in Mali: a randomised, controlled phase 1 trial

November 25, 2021 - 12:35 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Sissoko MS, Healy SA, Duffy PE, et al.
Reference: 
Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 18:S1473-3099(21)00332-7

WHO recently approved a partially effective vaccine that reduces clinical malaria in children, but increased vaccine activity is required to pursue malaria elimination. A phase 1 clinical trial was done in Mali, west Africa, to assess the safety, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of a three-dose regimen of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite (PfSPZ) Vaccine (a metabolically active, non-replicating, whole malaria sporozoite vaccine) against homologous controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) and natural P falciparum infection.

NOT Open Access | Assessment of experimental malaria vaccine induced protection in pre-exposed populations

November 24, 2021 - 20:02 -- NOT Open Access
Author(s): 
Daubenberger C
Reference: 
Lancet Infect Dis. 2021 Nov 18:S1473-3099(21)00359-5

Efforts to control and further reduce morbidity and mortality caused by Plasmodium falciparum infections in all age groups will be substantially strengthened by development of efficacious malaria vaccines in malaria pre-exposed populations.

Extracellular vesicles in malaria: an agglomeration of two decades of research

November 23, 2021 - 10:00 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Tosin Opadokun and Petra Rohrbach
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:442, 20 November 2021

Malaria is a complex parasitic disease, caused by Plasmodium spp. More than a century after the discovery of malaria parasites, this disease continues to pose a global public health problem and the pathogenesis of the severe forms of malaria remains incompletely understood. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, have been increasingly researched in the field of malaria in a bid to fill these knowledge gaps.

Red blood cell blood group A antigen level affects the ability of heparin and PfEMP1 antibodies to disrupt Plasmodium falciparum rosettes

November 23, 2021 - 09:29 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Pontus Hedberg, Madle Sirel, Kirsten Moll, Mpungu Steven Kiwuwa, Petter Höglund, Ulf Ribacke and Mats Wahlgren
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:441, 18 November 2021

The histo-blood group ABO system has been associated with adverse outcomes in COVID-19, thromboembolic diseases and Plasmodium falciparum malaria. An integral part of the severe malaria pathogenesis is rosetting, the adherence of parasite infected red blood cells (RBCs) to uninfected RBCs. Rosetting is influenced by the host’s ABO blood group (Bg) and rosettes formed in BgA have previously been shown to be more resilient to disruption by heparin and shield the parasite derived surface antigens from antibodies. However, data on rosetting in weak BgA subgroups is scarce and based on investigations of relatively few donors.

Evaluation of pilot implementation of seasonal malaria chemoprevention on morbidity in young children in Northern Sahelian Ghana

November 23, 2021 - 09:28 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Patrick O. Ansah, Nana A. Ansah, Abraham R. Oduro, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:440, 18 November 2021

In Sahelian Africa, the risk of malaria increases with the arrival of the rains, particularly in young children. Following successful trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) in areas with seasonal peak in malaria cases. This study evaluated the pilot implementation of SMC in Northern Ghana.

Insights from modelling malaria vaccines for policy decisions: the focus on RTS,S

November 23, 2021 - 09:27 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Katya Galactionova, Thomas A. Smith and Melissa A. Penny
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2021 20:439, 18 November 2021

Mathematical models are increasingly used to inform decisions throughout product development pathways from pre-clinical studies to country implementation of novel health interventions.

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