Vaccines are the primary means of controlling and preventing pandemics and outbreaks of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. However, a major drawback of naked DNA-based vaccines is their low immunogenicity and the amount of plasmid DNA necessary to elicit a response. Nano-sized liposomes can overcome this limitation, enhancing both nucleic acid stability and targeting to cells after administration.
During the erythrocytic cycle, Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites express P. falciparum Erythrocyte Membrane Protein 1 (PfEMP1) that anchor the infected erythrocytes (IE) to the vascular lining of the host. The CIDRα1 domain of PfEMP1 is responsible for binding host endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), and increasing evidence support that this interaction triggers severe malaria, accounting for the majority of malaria-related deaths. In high transmission regions, children develop immunity to severe malaria after the first few infections. This immunity is believed to be mediated by antibodies targeting and inhibiting PfEMP1, causing infected erythrocytes to circulate and be cleared in the spleen. The development of immunity to malaria coincides with acquisition of broad antibody reactivity across the CIDRα1 protein family. Altogether, this identifies CIDRα1 as an important vaccine target. However, the antigenic diversity of the CIDRα1 domain family is a challenge for vaccine development.
A vaccine remains a priority in the global fight against malaria. Here, we report on a single-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo and adjuvant-controlled, dose escalation phase 1a safety and immunogenicity clinical trial of full-length Plasmodium falciparum merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP1) in combination with GLA-SE adjuvant. Thirty-two healthy volunteers were vaccinated at least three times with MSP1 plus adjuvant, adjuvant alone, or placebo (24:4:4) to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity.
The World Health Organization is planning a pilot introduction of a new malaria vaccine in three sub-Saharan African countries. To inform considerations about including a new vaccine in the vaccination program of those and other countries, estimates from the scientific literature of the incremental costs of doing so are important