Presently there is no malaria vaccine available, and these new findings support the development of a vaccine against the blood-stage of malaria.
Malaria is an infection of blood cells and is transmitted by mosquitoes. The most common form of malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria parasites burrow into red blood cells by producing specific proteins. Once inside red blood cells, the parasites rapidly multiply, leading to massive numbers of parasites in the blood stream that can cause severe disease and death.
Dr James Beeson, Dr Freya Fowkes and Dr Jack Richards from the institute's Infection and Immunity division, along with Dr Julie Simpson from the University of Melbourne, have identified proteins produced by malaria parasites during the blood-stage that are effective at promoting immune responses that protect people from malaria illness.
Their findings are published today in the international journal PLoS Medicine.
Drs Fowkes and Beeson identified these proteins by reviewing and synthesising data from numerous scientific studies that had looked at the relationship between antibodies produced by the human immune system in response to malaria infection and the ability of these antibodies to protect against malaria.
Dr Beeson said malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum was a leading cause of death and disease globally, particularly among young children. "As well as presenting an enormous health burden, malaria also has a major impact on social and economic development in countries where the disease is endemic," Dr Beeson said. "Vaccines are urgently needed to reduce the burden of malaria and perhaps eventually eradicate the disease.
"A malaria vaccine that stimulates an efficient immune response against the proteins that malaria parasites use to burrow into red blood cells would stop the parasite from replicating and prevent severe illness."
Dr Fowkes said the review of existing studies had illustrated how little was known about blood-stage malaria proteins and their suitability for use in vaccine development.
"Only about six blood-stage malaria proteins have been well studied out of a potential 100 proteins," she said. "There is an urgent need for malaria researchers to better coordinate their research efforts on these proteins. This will take us one step closer to developing an effective vaccine."
The research was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and a Victorian Government Operational Infrastructure Support grant.
Penny Fannin | EurekAlert!
Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution
17.10.2017 | Virginia Institute of Marine Science
World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules
17.10.2017 | CNRS
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....
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...
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...
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...
It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences
17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.10.2017 | Life Sciences