While the malaria death count in Cambodia dropped to just one case in 2016, a new threat to the race against the disease arises in south-eastern Asia: superbugs. A superbug is a drug-resistant, human-killing parasite that modern medicine struggles to combat.
Here, we showed that the pLDH assay is reliable and accurately determines parasitemia in the rodent malaria model. pLDH activity measured using a chromogenic substrate reflects the parasite number in the blood; it allows fast and easy assessment using a conventional microplate reader.
Our findings suggest that the gene encoding MSP-9 is under purifying selection in P. vivax and closely related species.
Blood tests revealed that adults who received the highest total dosage of vaccine generated more antibodies against malaria and more T cells specific to the vaccine.
The guest blog below was contributed by Prof. Matt Thomas, of Penn State University. Read more about Professor Thomas here.
Taken together, around 581 research groups from 52 countries are participating in the vaccine activities of FP6. This impressive number signals a new spirit of collaborative research, which will facilitate the exploitation of the immense possibilities in modern vaccinology.
Our results support the promise of MSP3-LSP as a malaria vaccine candidate, both in terms of tolerability and of immunogenicity. Further assessment of the efficacy of this vaccine is recommended.
Sherman offers an engaging, accessible history of efforts (so far unsuccessful) to develop an effective malaria vaccine.
Subunit vaccines under development for malaria utilise a limited number of approaches to delivery.
Therefore, along with the efforts to advance the most promising vaccine formulations through the development pipeline, research is taking place into alternative methods for cheaper vaccine production and easy administration. This chapter will discuss some of these approaches, including transgenic plants and mammals as bioreactors for low cost vaccine production and alternative routes of vaccine delivery such as mucosal immunization.