Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria: Could the ingestion of 'modified' starch be a new vaccine strategy?

Date:
December 21, 2010
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
There is no efficient vaccine against malaria, although nasal and oral vaccination seems to be the most promising and suitable solution in countries where the parasite Plasmodium, which causes the disease, is rife. Researchers have successfully vaccinated and protected mice by feeding them starch derived from green algae and genetically modified to carry vaccine proteins. These encouraging results make it possible to envisage a simple and safe vaccination for children in countries at risk.

There is no efficient vaccine against malaria, although nasal and oral vaccination seems to be the most promising and suitable solution in countries where the parasite Plasmodium, which causes the disease, is rife. Researchers from two laboratories in northern France (CNRS/Inserm/Institut Pasteur de Lille/Universités Lille 1 et 2) (1) have successfully vaccinated and protected mice by feeding them starch derived from green algae and genetically modified to carry vaccine proteins. These encouraging results, which make it possible to envisage a simple and safe vaccination for children in countries at risk, are available online, on the scientific journal PloS One's website.

According to the WHO, malaria affects approximately 300 to 500 million people worldwide and kills one million each year, mostly young children. Insecticide-resistant mosquitoes carrying the disease and multi-drug resistant parasites are on the increase. In this context, the development of a vaccine that alleviates symptoms and reduces mortality would be a valuable new tool in the fight against malaria. Researchers aim to test the efficacy of vaccine candidates among proteins that allow the parasite to penetrate host cells and infect them, in order to devise the best strategy for vaccine delivery.

Researchers from the Centre d'Infection et d'Immunité de Lille (CNRS/Inserm/Institut Pasteur de Lille/Universités Lille 1 et 2) and the Unité de Glycobiologie Structurale et Fonctionnelle (CNRS/Université Lille 1) have developed a new vaccine strategy based on the ingestion of genetically modified starch. They used antigens that have shown their efficacy in "conventional" vaccinations as vaccine candidates. They fused these antigens to an enzyme (GBSS) in a starch granule from the green algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This enzyme has the particularity of functioning inside the starch granule and of being protected, along with the antigens grafted to it, against degradation by other enzymes. In this way, the researchers were able to produce several murine and human antigens of Plasmodium within starch grains. These grains were then ingested by mice inoculated with the parasite. The researchers demonstrated that the mice were vaccinated by the starch grains, which significantly protected them against infection.

Starch is the insoluble and semi-crystalline polysaccharide (2) that is the most commonly found in photosynthetic organisms. A starch grain can easily be produced from a plant extract and purified, in large quantities. It has a very stable structure and can be stored for months with no particular precaution, even if it undergoes temperature variations. It is easily assimilated through digestion and has a major ecological and financial interest, with very low production costs.

The starch of edible plants could be transformed in the same way as that of the algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Researchers are thus looking at the possibility of using starch from multi-cellular algae used in Africa as a food supplement, but also from maize and potatoes. Administered to children under 3 years of age, who are at high-risk of malaria-related mortality, such plants could be both a food source and a vaccine. This strategy would allow simple vaccination, avoid storage problems and syringes, and thus eliminate potential HIV contamination.

The vaccine strategy based on the ingestion of genetically modified starch is protected by a patent. The researchers now plan to test the efficacy of various Plasmodium antigens and determine whether such strategy can be applied to humans by verifying it has no side effects.

Notes:

(1) Teams headed by Stanislas Tomavo of the Centre d'Infection et d'Immunité de Lille (CNRS/Inserm/Institut Pasteur de Lille/Universités Lille 1 et 2) and Steven Ball of the Unité de Glycobiologie Structurale et Fonctionnelle (CNRS/Université Lille 1).

(2) Polysaccharides are polymeric carbohydrate structures composed of a succession of glucose molecules.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Malaria: Could the ingestion of 'modified' starch be a new vaccine strategy?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221081532.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2010, December 21). Malaria: Could the ingestion of 'modified' starch be a new vaccine strategy?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221081532.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Malaria: Could the ingestion of 'modified' starch be a new vaccine strategy?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221081532.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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