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NOT Open Access | Liposome engraftment and antigen combination potentiate the immune response towards conserved epitopes of the malaria vaccine candidate MSP2

February 25, 2021 - 08:17 -- NOT Open Access
Das SC, Price JD, Norton RS, et al.
Vaccine. 2021 Feb 20:S0264-410X(21)00158-4

Merozoite surface protein 2 (MSP2) is a highly abundant, GPI-anchored surface antigen on merozoites of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. It consists of highly conserved N- and C-terminal domains, and a central polymorphic region that allows all MSP2 alleles to be categorized into the 3D7 or FC27 family. Previously it has been shown that epitope accessibility differs between lipid-bound and lipid-free MSP2, suggesting that lipid interactions modulate the conformation and antigenicity in a way that may better mimic native MSP2 on the merozoite surface.

Natural infections with different Plasmodium species induce antibodies reactive to a chimeric Plasmodium vivax recombinant protein

February 15, 2021 - 15:51 -- Open Access
Jessica N. McCaffery, Balwan Singh, Douglas Nace, Alberto Moreno, Venkatachalam Udhayakumar and Eric Rogier
Malaria Journal 2021 20:86, 12 February 2021

As malaria incidence and transmission in a region decreases, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify areas of active transmission. Improved methods for identifying and monitoring foci of active malaria transmission are needed in areas of low parasite prevalence in order to achieve malaria elimination. Serological assays can provide population-level infection history to inform elimination campaigns.

Two 20-Residue-Long Peptides Derived from Plasmodium vivax Merozoite Surface Protein 10 EGF-Like Domains Are Involved in Binding to Human Reticulocytes

February 11, 2021 - 09:25 -- Open Access
Ricaurte-Contreras LA, Lovera A, Moreno-Pérez DA, Bohórquez MD, Suárez CF, Gutiérrez-Vásquez E, Cuy-Chaparro L, Garzón-Ospina D, Patarroyo MA
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 5;22(4):1609

Plasmodium parasites' invasion of their target cells is a complex, multi-step process involving many protein-protein interactions. Little is known about how complex the interaction with target cells is in Plasmodium vivax and few surface molecules related to reticulocytes' adhesion have been described to date. Natural selection, functional and structural analysis were carried out on the previously described vaccine candidate P. vivax merozoite surface protein 10 (PvMSP10) for evaluating its role during initial contact with target cells.

Pfs230 yields higher malaria transmission-blocking vaccine activity than Pfs25 in humans but not mice

February 10, 2021 - 10:03 -- Open Access
Healy SA, Anderson CF, Duffy PE, et al.
J Clin Invest. 2021 Feb 9:146221

Vaccines that block human-to-mosquito Plasmodium transmission are needed for malaria eradication and clinical trials have targeted zygote antigen Pfs25 for decades. We reported that a Pfs25 protein-protein conjugate vaccine formulated in alum adjuvant induced significant serum functional activity in both US and Malian adults. However, antibody titers declined rapidly, and transmission-reducing activity required four vaccine doses. Functional immunogenicity and durability must be improved before advancing TBV further in clinical development. We hypothesized that the pre-fertilization protein Pfs230 alone or in combination with Pfs25 would improve functional activity.

NOT Open Access | The challenges of a circumsporozoite protein-based malaria vaccine

February 10, 2021 - 09:33 -- NOT Open Access
Chatterjee D, Cockburn IA
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Feb 7:1-13

A safe and effective vaccine will likely be necessary for the control or eradication of malaria which kills 400,000 annually. Our most advanced vaccine candidate to date is RTS,S which is based on the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) of the malaria parasite. However, protection by RTS,S is incomplete and short-lived.

NOT Open Access | Progress and new horizons toward a VAR2CSA-based placental malaria vaccine

February 8, 2021 - 10:47 -- NOT Open Access
Doritchamou JYA, Suurbaar J, Tuikue Ndam N
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Feb 4:1-12

Several malaria vaccines are under various phases of development with some promising results. In placental malaria (PM) a deliberately anti-disease approach is considered as many studies have underlined the key role of VAR2CSA protein, which therefore represents the leading vaccine candidate. However, evidence indicates that VAR2CSA antigenic polymorphism remains an obstacle to overcome.

Potential effect modification of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine efficacy by household socio-economic status

February 2, 2021 - 16:26 -- Open Access
Gyaase S, Asante KP, Adeniji E, Boahen O, Cairns M, Owusu-Agyei S
BMC Public Health. 2021 Jan 28;21(1):240

In the phase III RTS,S /AS01 trial, significant heterogeneity in efficacy of the vaccine across study sites was seen. Question on whether variations in socio - economic status (SES) of participant contributed to the heterogeinity of the vaccine efficacy (VE) remains unknown.

NOT Open Access | Correlates of malaria vaccine efficacy

January 27, 2021 - 15:39 -- NOT Open Access
Stanisic DI, McCall MBB
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Jan 27

An effective vaccine against malaria forms a global health priority. Both naturally acquired immunity and sterile protection induced by irradiated sporozoite immunization were described decades ago. Still no vaccine exists that sufficiently protects children in endemic areas. Identifying immunological correlates of vaccine efficacy can inform rational vaccine design and potentially accelerate clinical development.

Identification and Assessment of Plasmodium berghei Merozoites and Cell Cycle by Flow Cytometry

January 27, 2021 - 15:36 -- Open Access
Li Q, Xie LH, Zhang J, Pybus BS
Mil Med. 2021 Jan 25;186(Supplement_1):108-115

The asexual blood stages of the Plasmodium berghei life cycle including merozoites are attractive targets for transmission blocking vaccines and drugs. Improved understanding of P. berghei life cycle stage growth and development would provide new opportunities to evaluate antimalarial vaccines and drugs.


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