2017-05-31Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00198
Engineering of Genetically Arrested Parasites (GAPs) For a Precision Malaria Vaccine
Continuous stage conversion and swift changes in the antigenic repertoire in response to acquired immunity are hallmarks of complex eukaryotic pathogens, including Plasmodium species, the causative agents of malaria. Efficient elimination of Plasmodium liver stages prior to blood infection is one of the most promising malaria vaccine strategies. Here, we describe different genetically arrested parasites (GAPs) that have been engineered in Plasmodium berghei, P. yoelii and P. falciparum and compare their vaccine potential. A better understanding of the immunological mechanisms of prime and boost by arrested sporozoites and experimental strategies to enhance vaccine efficacy by further engineering existing GAPs into a more immunogenic form hold promise for continuous improvements of GAP-based vaccines. A critical hurdle for vaccines that elicit long-lasting protection against malaria, such as GAPs, is safety and efficacy in vulnerable populations. Vaccine research should focus on solutions toward turning malaria into a vaccine-preventable disease, which would offer an exciting new path of malaria control.
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