Special Issue "Vaccines as Allies in the Malaria Eradication Effort"

A special issue of Diseases (ISSN 2079-9721). This special issue belongs to the section "Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Elke S. Bergmann-Leitner

US Military Malaria Research Program, Malaria Vaccine Branch, Silver Spring, USA
Interests: immune escape mechanisms; immune correlates of protection; vaccine design; assay development for vaccine evaluation; immunomodeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Malaria remains a major global health threat, with 216 million cases of malaria worldwide and approx. 445,000 deaths per year, despite massive elimination efforts. Increasing resistance of Plasmodium against anti-malarial drugs and decreasing effectiveness of insecticides are currently among the greatest challenges facing the eradication campaign. The development of an efficacious malaria vaccine that reduces—at minimum—mortality rates, has been a focal point of malaria research. While there are vaccine candidates that show promising short-term vaccine efficacy, longevity of protection and cross-reactivity against strains different from the vaccine strain remain elusive. Current efforts to generate an efficacious vaccine range from testing different vaccine platforms to including various vaccine antigens that are targeted because they are crucial for the survival and/or functionality of the parasite. In addition, while pre-erythrocytic and blood-stage based vaccines intended to prevent or alleviate disease, promising transmission blocking vaccines are being developed, which are considered altruistic vaccines since they contribute to malaria eradication at the population level, but do not directly benefit the vaccinee. This Special Issue will provide an overview over the strategies targeting different life stages of Plasmodium, application of different vaccine platforms and regimens to increase vaccine efficacy, summarizing the state-of-the-art in the field of malaria vaccine research.

Dr. Elke S. Bergmann-Leitner
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • Vaccine
  • Plasmodium
  • immune correlate
  • protection
  • life stage
  • vaccine antigens

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
DOPS Adjuvant Confers Enhanced Protection against Malaria for VLP-TRAP Based Vaccines
Diseases 2018, 6(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases6040107
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 16 November 2018 / Published: 21 November 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4362 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Vaccination remains the most effective and essential prophylactic tool against infectious diseases. Enormous efforts have been made to develop effective vaccines against malaria but successes remain so far limited. Novel adjuvants may offer a significant advantage in the development of malaria vaccines, in [...] Read more.
Vaccination remains the most effective and essential prophylactic tool against infectious diseases. Enormous efforts have been made to develop effective vaccines against malaria but successes remain so far limited. Novel adjuvants may offer a significant advantage in the development of malaria vaccines, in particular if combined with inherently immunogenic platforms, such as virus-like particles (VLP). Dioleoyl phosphatidylserine (DOPS), which is expressed on the outer surface of apoptotic cells, represents a novel adjuvant candidate that may confer significant advantage over existing adjuvants, such as alum. In the current study we assessed the potential of DOPS to serve as an adjuvant in the development of a vaccine against malaria either alone or combined with VLP using Plasmodium falciparum thrombospondin-related adhesive protein (TRAP) as a target antigen. TRAP was chemically coupled to VLPs derived from the cucumber mosaic virus fused to a universal T cell epitope of tetanus toxin (CuMVtt). Mice were immunized with TRAP alone or formulated in alum or DOPS and compared to TRAP coupled to CuMVtt formulated in PBS or DOPS. Induced immune responses, in particular T cell responses, were assessed as the major protective effector cell population induced by TRAP. The protective capacity of the various formulations was assessed using a transgenic Plasmodium berghei expressing PfTRAP. All vaccine formulations using adjuvants and/or VLP increased humoral and T cell immunogenicity for PfTRAP compared to the antigen alone. Display on VLPs, in particular if formulated with DOPS, induced the strongest and most protective immune response. Thus, the combination of VLP with DOPS may harness properties of both immunogenic components and optimally enhance induction of protective immune responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines as Allies in the Malaria Eradication Effort)

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