Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria Vaccine Trials Begin Using 'Chimpanzee Virus'

Date:
February 1, 2008
Source:
Wellcome Trust
Summary:
Trials are underway for a new vaccine to combat the most deadly form of malaria. For the first time ever, researchers will use a virus found in chimpanzees to boost the efficacy of the vaccine. Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasites, is one of the world's deadliest killers, killing over a million people each year, mainly women and young children in Africa and SE Asia.

Trials are underway for a new vaccine to combat the most deadly form of malaria. For the first time ever, researchers will use a virus found in chimpanzees to boost the efficacy of the vaccine.

Related Articles


Malaria, caused by Plasmodium parasites, is one of the world's deadliest killers, killing over a million people each year, mainly women and young children in Africa and SE Asia. The most deadly species , P. falciparum, is responsible for 80% of malaria infections and 90% of deaths. As yet, there is no vaccine against malaria. This is because, for much of their life-cycle, the parasites responsible for infection live inside cells, where they cannot be reached by antibodies.

The trials will take place at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute, led by its Director, Professor Adrian Hill.

"We urgently need a vaccine to help in the fight against this deadly killer," says Professor Hill, a Wellcome Trust* Principal Research Fellow. "Malaria parasites are able to outwit our immune system by hiding out in the body's cells, however. Finding a way to generate enough immune cells and antibodies to identify and destroy the parasites will be the key to preventing infection."

The vaccine being developed and trialled by Professor Hill's team in collaboration with Okairòs uses the company's genetically-modified chimpanzee adenovirus to produce the malaria antigen and to stimulate a response to the vaccine in the body. Adenoviruses appear to be particularly potent for increasing the immune response to the malaria vaccine. However, because human adenoviruses, which cause diseases including the common cold and gastroenteritis, are widespread, most people have developed some immunity towards them. Using a chimpanzee adenovirus ensures that a recipient is unlikely to have resistance to this component of the vaccine.

"Chimpanzees have their own set of adenoviruses which rarely infect humans, so we have not built up immunity to them," explains virologist Dr Sarah Gilbert at the Jenner Institute. "This is why we have chosen such a virus to form the backbone of the new vaccine."

Professor Hill's team is currently recruiting for more volunteers for the first trials, which are to assess the safety of the vaccine. Because the active component of the adenovirus is removed, however, there is no danger of transmission to the human of the original chimpanzee virus.

The trial will also be measuring the response of the immune system. The team hopes to generate a response from CD8+ T-cells (sometimes known as killer cells) that should kill the parasites when they enter the liver, where they multiply undetected. However, if the T-cells do not kill all of the parasites, any that escape from liver into the bloodstream will still be able to enter red blood cells and cause illness.

The group plans to test a second vaccine which would then target the parasites in the bloodstream and red blood cells.

"Our ultimate goal is a combination product which targets the parasite at both the liver stage and the blood stage," says Professor Hill. "Few people still think that you can get really strong protection from malaria based on a single component."

Over a dozen vaccines have now been made by scientists at the University of Oxford and taken into clinical trials, but this is the first vaccine to have also been manufactured within a UK university, according to Professor Hill.

*Funding was provided by the Wellcome Trust.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wellcome Trust. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wellcome Trust. "Malaria Vaccine Trials Begin Using 'Chimpanzee Virus'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131214548.htm>.
Wellcome Trust. (2008, February 1). Malaria Vaccine Trials Begin Using 'Chimpanzee Virus'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131214548.htm
Wellcome Trust. "Malaria Vaccine Trials Begin Using 'Chimpanzee Virus'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131214548.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) — Speaking at a White House event marking the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama says the law is "saving lives that touch all of us." (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins