Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Important steps towards the development of a human vaccine against malaria

31.10.2008
Every day 2000 children die from malaria in Africa alone. The infection is transmitted from human to human by biting mosquitoes and remains one of the world’s most devastating diseases. Despite many years of effort a vaccine is still not available but is urgently needed, if we are to make an impact on this enormous problem.

Continual exposure can generate protection against malaria and can be acquired through an exposure to a high number of infectious mosquito bites. Parasites that are injected by a mosquito first migrate to the liver where they mature and then are released into the blood circulation and it is only here that they cause disease and fatal complications.

A very promising method for vaccination is to sufficiently weaken parasites such that they invade liver cells but then are not able to develop any further. It is, however, required that these attenuated parasites are still able to stimulate a good immune response in the liver. This can be achieved by irradiating the parasites or by genetically inactivating individual parasite genes that are active during the parasites growth in the liver. Researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and LUMC, Leiden, the Netherlands, have now characterized a large number of parasite proteins (‘proteome’) that are present only during liver stage development and therefore are potential targets for inactivation.

The research groups had previously shown that protection in mice can be achieved by vaccinating mice with a rodent malaria which had one of these liver stage genes removed, specifically p36p. Moreover, the protection was long lasting and virtually complete. Now, these same researchers from Nijmegen and Leiden have succeeded in making the first critical transition from the rodent system to humans by inactivating the equivalent gene (p52) in the most important human malaria parasite, P. falciparum. Similar to the results with the rodent parasite, these human parasites are unable to develop in liver cells. This is the first time that genetic modification of a human parasite results in its growth arrest in a liver cell, opening up exciting possibilities for its use as a human vaccine.

These studies form part of a collaborative project with the American company Sanaria (www.sanaria.com), whose sole purpose is develop a whole organism malaria parasite vaccine for use in humans, and is funded by TI-Pharma. These studies show how results obtained in rodent models of malaria can be pipelined to form the basis for clinical development of anti-malaria vaccines in humans.

prof.dr. Robert Sauerwein | alfa
Further information:
http://www.umcn.nl

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Individual Receptors Caught at Work
19.10.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
19.10.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>