Nav: Home

Tamed malaria parasite vaccine passes early trial

January 04, 2017

Results from a first-in-human phase 1 study reveal a weakened form of the malaria parasite safely activated strong immune responses in 10 healthy volunteers, whose antibodies completely protected mice from malaria infection. Scientists tamed the parasite by deleting three genes critical to liver infection, offering a promising whole parasite vaccine candidate to combat the disease. Half of the global population currently lives at risk of malaria. In 2015, an estimated 214 million people were infected with the disease, leading to 584,000 deaths. The most clinically advanced vaccine in development contains fragments of the malaria parasite and is only partially protective. Vaccination with whole, live-attenuated parasites offers an alternate approach, but its potential to cause breakthrough malaria infection poses formidable safety challenges. To overcome these hurdles, James Kublin and colleagues created genetically attenuated parasites (GAP) by knocking out three genes (GAP3KO) in Plasmodium falciparum that arrested its development within the liver, thereby preventing its advance to blood infection, the stage of malaria that triggers disease symptoms. The GAP3KO vaccine was administered through infected mosquito bites in a controlled setting. The participants, none of whom developed malaria symptoms or signs of infection in the blood, showed strong protective antibody responses. When transferred into humanized mice, these antibodies blocked malaria infection in the liver. These promising results pave the way to a phase 1b trial of the GAP3KO vaccine candidate using controlled human malaria infection, the researchers say.
-end-


American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Malaria Articles:

Could there be a 'social vaccine' for malaria?
Malaria is a global killer and a world health concern.
Transgenic plants against malaria
Scientists have discovered a gene that allows to double the production of artemisinin in the Artemisia annua plant.
Fighting malaria through metabolism
EPFL scientists have fully modeled the metabolism of the deadliest malaria parasite.
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide?
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide, asks a debate article published by The BMJ today?
Investigational malaria vaccine shows considerable protection in adults in malaria season
An investigational malaria vaccine given intravenously was well-tolerated and protected a significant proportion of healthy adults against infection with Plasmodium falciparum malaria -- the deadliest form of the disease -- for the duration of the malaria season, according to new findings published in the Feb.
Why malaria mosquitoes like people with malaria
Malaria mosquitoes prefer to feed -- and feed more -- on blood from people infected with malaria.
Malaria superbugs threaten global malaria control
A lineage of multidrug resistant P. falciparum malaria superbugs has widely spread and is now established in parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, causing high treatment failure rates for the main falciparum malaria medicines, artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), according to a study published today in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Considering cattle could help eliminate malaria in India
The goal of eliminating malaria in countries like India could be more achievable if mosquito-control efforts take into account the relationship between mosquitoes and cattle, according to an international team of researchers.
Seasonal malaria chemoprevention in Senegalese children lowers overall malaria burden
Giving preventive antimalarial drugs to children up to age 10 during active malaria season reduced the cases of malaria in that age group and lowered the malaria incidence in adults, according to a randomized trial carried out in Senegal and published in PLOS Medicine by researchers from the Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Senegal, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK, and other collaborators.
How malaria fools our immune system
OIST researchers reconstruct the 3-D structure of a malaria protein in combination with human antibodies.

Related Malaria Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Anthropomorphic
Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#532 A Class Conversation
This week we take a look at the sociology of class. What factors create and impact class? How do we try and study it? How does class play out differently in different countries like the US and the UK? How does it impact the political system? We talk with Daniel Laurison, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College and coauthor of the book "The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged", about class and its impacts on people and our systems.