Eradication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria will likely require a multivalent vaccine, but the development of a highly efficacious subunit-based formulation has been challenging. We previously showed that production and immunogenicity of two leading vaccine targets, PfMSP119 (blood-stage) and Pfs25 (sexual stage), could be enhanced upon genetic fusion to merozoite surface protein 8 (PfMSP8). Here, we sought to optimize a Pfs25-based formulation for use in combination with rPfMSP1/8 with the goal of maintaining the immunogenicity of each subunit.
The efficient spread of malaria from infected humans to mosquitoes is a major challenge for malaria elimination initiatives. Gametocytes are the only Plasmodium life stage infectious to mosquitoes. Here, we summarize evidence for naturally acquired anti‐gametocyte immunity and the current state of transmission blocking vaccines (TBV). Although gametocytes are intra‐erythrocytic when present in infected humans, developing Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes may express proteins on the surface of red blood cells that elicit immune responses in naturally exposed individuals.