Pre-erythrocytic vaccines prevent malaria by targeting parasites in the clinically silent sporozoite and liver stages and preventing progression to the virulent blood stages. The leading pre-erythrocytic vaccine RTS,S/AS01E (Mosquirix®) entered implementation programs in 2019 and targets the major sporozoite surface antigen called circumsporozoite protein or CSP.
The immune system plays a role in the maintenance of healthy neurocognitive function. Different patterns of immune response triggered by distinct stimuli may affect nervous functions through regulatory or deregulatory signals, depending on the properties of the exogenous immunogens. Here, we investigate the effect of immune stimulation on cognitive-behavioural parameters in healthy mice and its impact on cognitive sequelae resulting from non-severe experimental malaria.
Human malaria affects the vast majority of the world's population with the Plasmodium falciparum species causing the highest rates of morbidity and mortality. With no licensed vaccine and leading candidates achieving suboptimal protection in the field, the need for an effective immunoprophylactic option continues to motivate the malaria research community to explore alternative technologies. Recent advances in the mRNA discipline have elevated the long-neglected platform to the forefront of infectious disease research.
Genetic crosses are most powerful for linkage analysis when progeny numbers are high, parental alleles segregate evenly and numbers of inbred progeny are minimized. We previously developed a novel genetic crossing platform for the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, an obligately sexual, hermaphroditic protozoan, using mice carrying human hepatocytes (the human liver-chimeric FRG NOD huHep mouse) as the vertebrate host. We report on two genetic crosses-(1) an allopatric cross between a laboratory-adapted parasite (NF54) of African origin and a recently patient-derived Asian parasite, and (2) a sympatric cross between two recently patient-derived Asian parasites.
Malaria is a fatal disease that presents clinically as a continuum of symptoms and severity, which are determined by complex host-parasite interactions. Clearance of infection is believed to be accomplished by the spleen and mononuclear phagocytic system (MPS), independent of artemisinin treatment. The spleen filters infected red blood cells (RBCs) from circulation through immune-mediated recognition of the infected RBCs followed by phagocytosis. This study evaluated the tolerance of four different strains of mice to Plasmodium berghei strain K173 (P. berghei K173), and the differences in the role of the spleen in controlling P. berghei K173 infection.
An effective vaccine would be a valuable tool for malaria control and elimination; however, the leading malaria vaccine in development, RTS,S/AS01, provided only partial protection in a Phase 3 trial. R21 is a next-generation RTS,S-like vaccine. We have previously shown in mice that R21 administered in Matrix-M is highly immunogenic, able to elicit complete protection against sporozoite challenge, and can be successfully administered with TRAP based viral-vectors resulting in enhanced protection. In this study, we developed a novel, GMP-compatible purification process for R21, and evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of ultra-low doses of both R21 and RTS,S when formulated in AS01.
Malaria affects more than 200 million people annually around the world, killing a child every 2 min. Artemether (ART) and lumefantrine (LUM) are the gold standard choice to treat uncomplicated Plasmodium falciparum malaria; however, they are hydrophobic compounds with low oral bioavailability. Microneedle (MN) arrays consist of micron-sized needles on one side of a supporting base and have the ability to bypass the skin's stratum corneum barrier in a minimally invasive way, creating temporary channels through which drugs can diffuse, including those with poor water solubility.
The quest for the development of a novel antimalarial drug informed the decision to subject phytol to in vivo trials following a demonstration of therapeutic potential against chloroquine sensitive strain of Plasmodium falciparum under in vitro condition. On this basis, the in vivo anti-Plasmodium berghei activity of phytol including the ameliorative effects of the compound on P. berghei-associated anaemia and organ damage were investigated.
The use of medicinal plants in the treatment of malaria is gaining global attention due to their efficacy and cost effectiveness. This study evaluated the bioactivity-guided antiplasmodial efficacy and immunomodulatory effects of solvent fractions of Diospyros mespiliformis in mice infected with a susceptible strain of Plasmodium berghei (NK 65). The crude methanol extract of the stem of D. mespiliformis (DM) was partitioned between n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol. Male Swiss mice (20 ± 2 g) infected with P. berghei were grouped and treated with vehicle (10 mL/kg, control), Artemether lumefantrine (10 mg/kg), 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg of n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol fractions of D. mespiliformis for seven days. Blood was obtained for heme and hemozoin contents while serum was obtained for inflammatory cytokines and immunoglobulins G and M assessments.
Circulating levels of the adipokine leptin are linked to neuropathology in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), but its source and regulation mechanism remain unknown. Here, we show that sequestration of infected red blood cells (iRBCs) in white adipose tissue (WAT) microvasculature increased local vascular permeability and leptin production. Mice infected with parasite strains that fail to sequester in WAT displayed reduced leptin production and protection from ECM.