Due to the lack of efficiency to control malaria elicited by sub-unit vaccine preparations, vaccination with live-attenuated Plasmodium parasite as reported 70 years ago with irradiated sporozoites regained recently a significant interest. The complex life cycle of the parasite and the different stages of development between mammal host and anopheles do not help to propose an easy vaccine strategy.
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.
With emerging resistance to frontline treatments, it is vital that new drugs are identified to target Plasmodium falciparum. One of the most critical processes during the parasites’ asexual lifecycle is the invasion and subsequent egress of red blood cells (RBCs). Many unique parasite ligands, receptors and enzymes are employed during egress and invasion that are essential for parasite proliferation and survival, therefore making these processes druggable targets.