TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2018

Targeted protein may modify malaria vaccines

Targeted protein may modify malaria vaccines
Targeted protein may modify malaria vaccines | Courtesy of wikipedia.org

Experts recently discovered that a new kind of vaccine that blocks parasite transmission may be crucial to eliminating malaria.

The scientists, an international team from Monash Unviersity and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, recently conducted a study that focuses on AnAPN1, a specific protein found in the Anopheles mosquito midgut.

Malaria transmission-blocking vaccines are meant to stop malaria from spreading by halting parasite transmission. AnAPN1, found in the mosquito’s gut, is a top candidate for creating this mosquito-based malaria transmission-blocking vaccine. 

"This type of vaccine won't boost people's immunity to malaria, but instead it will provide a delayed benefit to the individual by protecting the entire community from parasite transmission," Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, from the Malaria Research Institute at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said.

People contract malaria through bites from a mosquito that is infected with the parasite that causes malaria, Plasmodium; creating a transmission-blocking vaccine for malaria could help people around the world.

"Ultimately it could lead to a reduced number of infected mosquitoes and the eventual elimination and eradication of the disease," Dinglasan said. "This dilution of the overall antibody response to AnAPN1 is problematic. To further improve vaccine immunogenicity at the preclinical stage, we need to immuno-focus the antibody response to only the critical, 'transmission-blocking' regions of the protein.”

Further details are available in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

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Monash University

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