Malaria control has stalled in a number of African countries and novel approaches to malaria control are needed for these areas. The encouraging results of a recent trial conducted in young children in Burkina Faso and Mali in which a combination of the RTS,S/AS01E malaria vaccine and seasonal malaria chemoprevention led to a substantial reduction in clinical cases of malaria, severe malaria, and malaria deaths compared with the administration of either intervention given alone suggests that there may be other epidemiological/clinical situations in which a combination of malaria vaccination and chemoprevention could be beneficial.
Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are powerful mediators of protracted adaptive immunity to infection in peripheral organs. Harnessing TRM cells through vaccination hence promises unprecedented potential for protection against infection. A paramount example of this is malaria, a major infectious disease for which immunity through traditional vaccination strategies remains challenging. Liver TRM cells appear to be highly protective against malaria, and recent developments in our knowledge of the biology of these cells have defined promising, novel strategies for their induction.
The role of natural killer (NK) cells in the liver as first-line post infectionem (p.i.) effectors against blood-stage malaria and their responsiveness to protective vaccination is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the effect of vaccination on NK cell-associated genes induced in the liver by blood-stage malaria of Plasmodium chabaudi. Female Balb/c mice were vaccinated at weeks 3 and 1 before being infected with 106P. chabaudi-parasitized erythrocytes.
Generating sufficient antibody to block infection is a key challenge for vaccines against malaria. Here, we show that antibody titers to a key target, the repeat region of the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP), plateaued after two immunizations in a clinical trial of the radiation-attenuated sporozoite vaccine. To understand the mechanisms limiting vaccine responsiveness, we developed immunoglobulin (Ig)-knockin mice with elevated numbers of PfCSP-binding B cells.
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC), with sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine plus amodiaquine (SP+AQ) is effective but does not provide complete protection against clinical malaria. The RTS,S/AS01E malaria vaccine provides a high level of protection shortly after vaccination, but this wanes rapidly. Such a vaccine could be an alternative or additive to SMC. This trial aims to determine whether seasonal vaccination with RTS,S/AS01E vaccine could be an alternative to SMC and whether a combination of the two interventions would provide added benefits.
Profiling immune responses induced by either infection or vaccination can provide insight into identification of correlates of protection. Furthermore, profiling of serological responses can be used to identify biomarkers indicative of exposure to pathogens. Conducting such immune surveillance requires readout methods that are high-throughput, robust, and require small sample volumes. While the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the classical readout method for assessing serological responses, the advent of multiplex assays has significantly increased the throughput and capacity for immunoprofiling. This report describes the development and assay performance (sensitivity, linearity of detection, requirement for multiple dilutions for each sample, intra- and inter-assay variability) of an electro-chemiluminescence (ECLIA)-based multiplex assay.
Vaccines based on Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) have failed due to extensive polymorphism in AMA1. To assess the strain-specificity of antibody responses to malaria infection and AMA1 vaccination, we designed protein and peptide microarrays representing hundreds of unique AMA1 variants. Following clinical malaria episodes, children had short-lived, sequence-independent increases in average whole-protein seroreactivity, as well as strain-specific responses to peptides representing diverse epitopes.
The Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) cysteine-rich protective antigen (PfCyRPA) has emerged as a promising blood-stage candidate antigen for inclusion into a broadly cross-reactive malaria vaccine. This highly conserved protein among various geographical strains plays a key role in the red blood cell invasion process by P. falciparum merozoites, and antibodies against PfCyRPA can efficiently prevent the entry of the malaria parasites into red blood cells.
Vaccination induces survival of otherwise lethal blood-stage infections of the experimental malaria Plasmodium chabaudi. Blood-stage malaria induces extramedullary erythropoiesis in the liver. This study investigates how vaccination affects the course of malaria-induced expression of erythrocytic genes in the liver.
The World Health Organization has recommended pilot implementation of a candidate vaccine against malaria (RTS,S/AS01) in selected sub-Saharan African countries. This exploratory study aimed to estimate the costs of implementing RTS,S in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania.