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virus-like particles

Immunization with virus-like particles conjugated to CIDRα1 domain of Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 induces inhibitory antibodies

March 31, 2020 - 15:57 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Charlotte Harmsen, Louise Turner, Susan Thrane, Adam F. Sander, Thor G. Theander and Thomas Lavstsen
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:132, 30 March 2020

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.

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