The standardized production of a malaria vaccine, called PfAMA1 to enable vaccine studies in humans

4 November 2016

BPRC - 1. The standardized production of a malaria vaccine, called PfAMA1 to enable vaccine studies in humans

To date there is no malaria vaccine available. The vaccine which is most advanced in development, mosquirix™ of GSK, is only protective against disease in ± 30 % of the people. Possibly protective effects can be improved by adding a component to the mosquirix vaccine.

A possible candidate for this is the protein apical membrane antigen 1, derived from Plasmodium falciparum (PfAMA1), the causative agent of the deadly form of malaria. PfAMA1 is an essential part of the malaria parasite. Vaccination elicits antibodies against this protein that prevent the malaria parasite to invade red blood cells. This is detrimental for the parasite. 

The PfAMA1 protein has many variants in nature. To address this issue BPRC scientists have designed three PfAMA1 proteins that cover a mosaic of different variants in order to obtain protection against all these variants. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute in Aachen, these three proteins were produced in a controlled manner and characterized. It was shown that it was possible to obtain sufficient material of high quality to the tested as experimental vaccine in humans. This vaccine study is currently underway.

This work was published in PlosOne (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27695087).