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RTS,S: the first malaria vaccine

January 12, 2022 - 20:03 -- Open Access
Zavala F
J Clin Invest. 2022 Jan 4;132(1):e156588

After more than four decades of basic research and clinical trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the malaria vaccine RTS,S for widespread use among children living in malaria endemic areas. Pioneering studies using rodent malaria models directed by Ruth S. Nussenzweig at the New York University School of Medicine demonstrated in the late 1960s that immunization with attenuated sporozoites — the infective stage of Plasmodium — induces immune responses that protect against parasite infection.

Insights from modelling malaria vaccines for policy decisions: the focus on RTS,S

November 23, 2021 - 09:27 -- Open Access
Katya Galactionova, Thomas A. Smith and Melissa A. Penny
Malaria Journal 2021 20:439, 18 November 2021

Mathematical models are increasingly used to inform decisions throughout product development pathways from pre-clinical studies to country implementation of novel health interventions.

Assessment of genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein in Sudan: the RTS,S leading malaria vaccine candidate

November 23, 2021 - 09:20 -- Open Access
Nouh Saad Mohamed, Hanadi AbdElbagi, Rihab Ali Omer, et al.
Malaria Journal 2021 20:436, 10 November 2021

The currently used malaria vaccine, RTS,S, is designed based on the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP). The pfcsp gene, besides having different polymorphic patterns, can vary between P. falciparum isolates due to geographical origin and host immune response. Such aspects are essential when considering the deployment of the RTS,S vaccine in a certain region. Therefore, this study assessed the genetic diversity of P. falciparum in Sudan based on the pfcsp gene by investigating the diversity at the N-terminal, central repeat, and the C-terminal regions.

NOT Open Access | Novel malaria vaccines

August 10, 2021 - 18:19 -- NOT Open Access
Laurens MB
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2021 Aug 4:1-4

Malaria vaccines hold significant promise for life-saving benefit, especially to children who bear the major burden of malaria mortality. The RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine provides moderate efficacy and is being tested in implementation studies. In parallel, multiple strategies are being advanced to test next-generation malaria vaccines, including novel approaches that build on principles learned from RTS,S development, vaccination with radiation-attenuated sporozoites, and development of monoclonal antibodies targeting immunogenic peptides.

Factors associated with malaria vaccine uptake in Sunyani Municipality, Ghana

July 28, 2021 - 15:08 -- Open Access
Dennis Tabiri, Jean Claude Romaric Pingdwindé Ouédraogo and Priscilla Awo Nortey
Malaria Journal 2021 20:325, 27 July 2021

Malaria continues to be a major disease of public health concern affecting several million people worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) started a pilot study on a malaria vaccine (RTS,S) in Ghana and two other countries in 2019. This study aimed at assessing the factors associated with uptake of the vaccine in the Sunyani Municipality of Ghana.

Ultra-low dose immunization and multi-component vaccination strategies enhance protection against malaria in mice

May 26, 2021 - 09:37 -- Open Access
Collins KA, Brod F, Snaith R, Ulaszewska M, Longley RJ, Salman AM, Gilbert SC, Spencer AJ, Franco D, Ballou WR, Hill AVS
Sci Rep. 2021 May 24;11(1):10792

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.

NOT Open Access | The challenges of a circumsporozoite protein-based malaria vaccine

February 10, 2021 - 09:33 -- NOT Open Access
Chatterjee D, Cockburn IA
Expert Rev Vaccines. 2021 Feb 7:1-13

A safe and effective vaccine will likely be necessary for the control or eradication of malaria which kills 400,000 annually. Our most advanced vaccine candidate to date is RTS,S which is based on the Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (PfCSP) of the malaria parasite. However, protection by RTS,S is incomplete and short-lived.

Breadth of humoral immune responses to the C-terminus of the circumsporozoite protein is associated with protective efficacy induced by the RTS,S malaria vaccine

January 12, 2021 - 14:36 -- Open Access
Chaudhury S, MacGill RS, Early AM, Bolton JS, King CR, Locke E, Pierson T, Wirth DF, Neafsey DE, Bergmann-Leitner ES
Vaccine. 2021 Jan 8:S0264-410X(20)31635-2

The circumsporozoite protein (CSP) is the main surface antigen of malaria sporozoites, a prime vaccine target, and is known to have polymorphisms in the C-terminal region. Vaccines using a single allele may have lower efficacy against genotypic variants. Recent studies have found evidence suggesting the efficacy of the CSP-based RTS,S malaria vaccine may be limited against P. falciparum CSP alleles that diverge from the 3D7 vaccine allele, particularly in this polymorphic C-terminal region.

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