Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine

Date:
September 11, 2013
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
There is hope for new live-attenuated malaria vaccine according to a new study. This work has genetically engineered malaria parasites that are stunted through precise gene deletions, and these could be used as a vaccine that protects against malaria infection.

Can mosquito bites bring a new malaria vaccine?
Credit: ©Elsevier

A study published in Vaccine could provide hope for new live-attenuated malaria vaccine

This study suggests that genetically engineered malaria parasites that are stunted through precise gene deletions (genetically attenuated parasites, or "GAP") could be used as a vaccine that protects against malaria infection. This means that the harmless (attenuated) version of the parasite would interact with the body in the same way as the infective version, but without possibility of causing disease. GAP-vaccination would induce robust immune responses that protect against future infection with malaria.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 219 million documented cases of malaria in 2010, causing the deaths of up to 1.2 million people worldwide. Antimalarial treatments are available to reduce the risk of infection, but as yet there is no effective vaccine against the disease.

Last month, a team of scientists announced the results of a trial with a new kind of malaria vaccine, a whole-parasite preparation weakened by radiation. The trial showed promising results, but the method of vaccination was not optimal, requiring intravenous administration and multiple high doses. This current paper outlines a method of attenuation through genetic engineering rather than radiation, which offers hope for a more consistent vaccine that gives better protection.

"Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers, and threatens 40 percent of the world's population, yet still no effective vaccine exists," said Stefan Kappe, Ph.D., lead author of the paper and professor at Seattle BioMed. "In this paper we show that genetically engineered parasites are a promising, viable option for developing a malaria vaccine, and we are currently engineering the next generation of attenuated parasite strains with the aim to enter clinical studies soon."

For the first time, researchers created a weakened version of the human malaria parasite by altering its DNA. They tested the safety of the new modified parasite by injecting six human volunteers through mosquito bites. Five of the six volunteers showed no infection with the parasite, suggesting that the new genetic technique has potential as the basis for a malaria vaccine.

"Our approach offers a new path to make a protective malaria vaccine that might overcome the limitations of previous development attempts. Genetically engineered parasites potentially provide us with a potent, scalable approach to malaria vaccination," said Kappe. "Our results are very encouraging, providing a strong rationale for the further development of live-attenuated strains using genetic engineering."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Michele Spring, Jittawadee Murphy, Robin Nielsen, Megan Dowler, Jason W. Bennett, Stasya Zarling, Jack Williams, Patricia de la Vega, Lisa Ware, Jack Komisar, Mark Polhemus, Thomas L. Richie, Judy Epstein, Cindy Tamminga, Ilin Chuang, Nancy Richie, Michael O’Neil, D. Gray Heppner, Julie Healer, Matthew O’Neill, Hannah Smithers, Olivia C. Finney, Sebastian A. Mikolajczak, Ruobing Wang, Alan Cowman, Christian Ockenhouse, Urszula Krzych, Stefan H.I. Kappe. First-in-human evaluation of genetically attenuated Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites administered by bite of Anopheles mosquitoes to adult volunteers. Vaccine, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.08.007

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093049.htm>.
Elsevier. (2013, September 11). Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093049.htm
Elsevier. "Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130911093049.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. 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