Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria

12.08.2014

Vectored immunoprophylaxis injection triggers creation of antibodies that prevent malaria in 70 percent of mice

A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that injecting a vaccine-like compound into mice was effective in protecting them from malaria. The findings suggest a potential new path toward the elusive goal of malaria immunization.

Mice, injected with a virus genetically altered to help the rodents create an antibody designed to fight the malaria parasite, produced high levels of the anti-malaria antibody. The approach, known as Vector immunoprophylaxis, or VIP, has shown promise in HIV studies but has never been tested with malaria, for which no licensed vaccine exists.

A report on the research appears online Aug. 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Malaria is one of the world's deadliest infectious diseases, killing as many as 1 million people per year, the majority of them children in Africa. Malaria patients get the disease from infected mosquitoes. Of the four types of malaria that affect humans, the parasite Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal, responsible for the majority of malaria cases. Antimalarial treatments and mosquito habitat modification have contributed to a decline in malaria mortality. But the number of cases remains high, and stemming them is a top global health priority.

In their study, researchers used a virus containing genes that were encoded to produce an antibody targeted to inhibit P. falciparum infection. Up to 70 percent of the mice injected with the VIP were protected from malaria-infected mosquito bites. In a subset of mice that produced higher levels of serum antibodies, the protection was 100 percent. The mice were tested a year after receiving a single injection of the virus and were shown to still produce high levels of the protective antibody.

"We need better ways to fight malaria and our research suggests this could be a promising approach," notes study leader Gary Ketner, PhD, a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

There is a fine line between a vaccine and a VIP injection. One key difference: a VIP injection is formulated to produce a specific antibody. VIP technology bypasses the requirement of the host to make its own immune response against malaria, which is what occurs with a vaccine. Instead VIP provides the protective antibody gene, giving the host the tools to target the malaria parasite. "The body is actually producing a malaria-neutralizing antibody," says Ketner. "Instead of playing defense, the host is playing offense."

"Our idea was to find a way for each individual to create a long-lasting response against malaria," says Cailin Deal, PhD, who helped lead the research while completing her doctorate at the School.

One advantage of this targeted approach over a traditional vaccine, the researchers note, is that the body might be able to continue to produce the antibody. With a vaccine, the natural immune response wanes over time, sometimes losing the ability to continue to resist infection, which would require follow-up booster shots. This can be challenging for people living in remote and or rural areas where malaria is prevalent but health care access limited. Any immunization protocol that involved one injection would be preferable.

"It's dose dependent," adds Deal. "Of course we don't know what the human dosage would be, but it's conceivable that the right dosage could completely protect against malaria."

"Vectored antibody gene delivery protects against Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite challenge in mice" was written by Cailin Deal, Alejandro B. Balazs, Diego A. Espinosa, Fidel Zavala, David Baltimore and Gary Ketner.

###

This research was supported by a Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute pilot grant, a Bloomberg School of Public Health Sommer Scholarship, the Joint Center for Translational Medicine, and grants from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (K22AI102769, R01AI044375 and T32 AI007417).

Barbara Benham | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>