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Immunity to Malaria and Vaccine Strategies

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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02748

The development of whole sporozoite vaccines for Plasmodium falciparum malaria

 Leslie S. Itsara1*, Yaxian Zhou1, Julie Do1, Alexis M. Grieser1, Ashley M. Vaughan2 and Anil K. Ghosh1
  • 1MalarVx, United States
  • 2Center for Infectious Disease Research, United States

Each year malaria kills hundreds of thousands of people and infects hundreds of millions of people despite current control measures. An effective malaria vaccine will likely be necessary to aid in malaria eradication. Vaccination using whole sporozoites provides an increased repertoire of immunogens compared to subunit vaccines across at least two life cycle stages of the parasite, the extracellular sporozoite and intracellular liver stage. Three potential whole sporozoite vaccine approaches are under development and include genetically attenuated parasites, radiation attenuated sporozoites, and wild-type sporozoites administered in combination with chemoprophylaxis. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated whole sporozoite vaccine immunogenicity, including humoral and cellular immunity and a range of vaccine efficacy that depends on the pre-exposure of vaccinated individuals. While whole sporozoite vaccines can provide protection against malaria in some cases, more recent studies in malaria-endemic regions demonstrate the need for improvements. Moreover, challenges remain in manufacturing large quantities of sporozoites for vaccine commercialization. A promising solution to the whole sporozoite manufacturing challenge is in vitro culturing methodology, which has been described for several Plasmodium species, including the major disease-causing human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Here, we review whole sporozoite vaccine immunogenicity and in vitro culturing platforms for sporozoite production.

Keywords: Plasmodium falciparum, Malaria, whole sporozoite vaccines, genetically attenuated parasite, Radiation attenuated sporozoites (RAS), in vitro culture

Received: 22 Aug 2018; Accepted: 08 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Ashraful Haque, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia

Reviewed by:

Ian A. Cockburn, Australian National University, Australia
Daniel Fernandez-Ruiz, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Australia  

Copyright: © 2018 Itsara, Zhou, Do, Grieser, Vaughan and Ghosh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Leslie S. Itsara, MalarVx, Seattle, 98109, Washington, United States, leslie.itsara@gmail.com