Live attenuated rubella vectors expressing Plasmodium falciparum circumsporozoite protein (Pf-CSP) provide a novel malaria vaccine platform in the rhesus macaque

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2021 Aug 27;577:58-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.08.052. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThere is an urgent need for a malaria vaccine that can prevent severe disease in young children and adults. Despite earlier work showing an immunological mechanism for preventing infection and reducing disease severity, there is currently no reliable vaccine that can provide durable protection. In part, this may reflect a limited number of ways that the host can respond to the NANP repeat sequences of circumsporozoite protein (CSP) in the parasite. In addition, it may reflect antigenic escape by the parasite from protective antibodies. To be successful, a vaccine must protect against repeated exposure to infected mosquitoes in endemic areas. We have created a series of live viral vectors based on the rubella vaccine strain that express multiple tandem repeats of NANP, and we demonstrate immunogenicity in a rhesus macaque model. We tested the vectors in a sequential immunization strategy. In the first step, the animals were primed with CSP-DNA vaccine and boosted with rubella/CSP vectors. In the second step, we gave rubella/CSP vectors again, followed by recombinant CSP protein. Following the second step, antibody titers were comparable to adult exposure to malaria in an endemic area. The antibodies were specific for native CSP protein on sporozoites, and they persisted for at least 1½ years in two out of three macaques. Given the safety profile of rubella v...
Source: Biochemical and Biophysical Research communications - Category: Biochemistry Authors: Source Type: research

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