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.
North Central Nigeria is one region in Nigeria with a significant incidence of malaria caused majorly by Plasmodium falciparum. This study utilizes the msp1 and msp2 genes of P. falciparum to examine its diversity and multiplicity of infection (MOI). Blood samples were collected from 247 children across selected healthcare facilities in Minna, from infants and children aged 6 months to 17 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine is currently being evaluated in a cluster-randomized pilot implementation programme in three African countries. This study seeks to identify whether vaccination could reach additional children who are at risk from malaria but do not currently have access to, or use, core malaria interventions.
The currently used malaria vaccine, RTS,S, is designed based on the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP). The pfcsp gene, besides having different polymorphic patterns, can vary between P. falciparum isolates due to geographical origin and host immune response. Such aspects are essential when considering the deployment of the RTS,S vaccine in a certain region. Therefore, this study assessed the genetic diversity of P. falciparum in Sudan based on the pfcsp gene by investigating the diversity at the N-terminal, central repeat, and the C-terminal regions.
The occurrence of artemisinin resistance (ART)-associated polymorphism of Plasmodium falciparum K13-propeller (pfk13) gene before and after the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in two regions of Nigeria was investigated in this study. Regular surveillance is necessary to make a definite conclusion on the emergence and pattern of possible resistance to ART.
Since 2005, artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) has been recommended to treat uncomplicated falciparum malaria in Madagascar. Artesunate-amodiaquine (ASAQ) and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) are the first- and second-line treatments, respectively. A therapeutic efficacy study was conducted to assess ACT efficacy and molecular markers of anti-malarial resistance.