Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vaccine candidate using genetically engineered malaria parasite developed

Date:
May 29, 2014
Source:
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed)
Summary:
A next generation genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) that might constitute the path to a highly protective malaria vaccine has been developed by scientists. Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite, leading to 219 million documented cases and 627,000 deaths worldwide in 2012. While control measures, such as bed nets, are increasingly implemented, there remains no effective vaccine capable of eradicating malaria.

Seattle BioMed researchers today announced they have developed a next generation genetically attenuated parasite (GAP) that might constitute the path to a highly protective malaria vaccine. The study was published online in the journal Molecular Therapy.

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite, leading to 219 million documented cases and 627,000 deaths worldwide in 2012. While control measures, such as bed nets, are increasingly implemented, there remains no effective vaccine capable of eradicating malaria.

The manuscript describes the development of genetically engineered malaria parasites that are weakened by the precise removal of genes and designed to effectively prevent the parasite from inducing an infection in humans. These genetically attenuated parasites, or "GAPs," are incapable of multiplying, but are alive and able to effectively stimulate the immune system to build up defenses to prevent pathogenic infection. While this vaccine strategy has proven very successful in providing protection against viruses and bacteria, it remains a novel approach in combating parasites.

"While vaccination with live-attenuated parasites is capable of providing complete protection from malaria infection, it is imperative that we permanently cripple the very complex malaria parasite so that it cannot cause disease, and instead, effectively primes the immune system," said Stefan Kappe, Ph.D., corresponding author and professor, Seattle BioMed.

"This most recent publication builds on our previous work," said Sebastian Mikolajczak, PhD., Seattle BioMed senior scientist and GAP project leader. "The first generation GAP strain had two genes removed from the malaria parasite, but this new 'triple punch', developed in collaboration with scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia, removes three separate genes associated with the pathogenicity of the parasite, effectively abrogating its ability to establish an infection in humans."

"The next step is to test the safety and efficacy of this attenuated parasite in clinical trials in a highly efficient manner," said Alan Aderem, Ph.D., president, Seattle BioMed. "Seattle BioMed's Malaria Clinical Trials Center is one of only four centers in the world approved to safely and effectively test new malaria treatments and vaccines in humans by the malaria human challenge model. We are committed better understanding and eventually eradicate this deadly pathogen."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian A. Mikolajczak, Viswanathan Lakshmanan, Matthew Fishbaugher, Nelly Camargo, Anke Harupa, Alexis Kaushansky, Alyse N. Douglass, Michael Baldwin, Julie Healer, Matthew O’Neill, Thuan Phuong, Alan Cowman, Stefan H.I. Kappe. A next generation genetically attenuated Plasmodium falciparum parasite created by triple gene deletion. Molecular Therapy, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/mt.2014.85

Cite This Page:

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed). "Vaccine candidate using genetically engineered malaria parasite developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529092221.htm>.
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed). (2014, May 29). Vaccine candidate using genetically engineered malaria parasite developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529092221.htm
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed). "Vaccine candidate using genetically engineered malaria parasite developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140529092221.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. 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