Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
This study suggests that genetically engineered malaria parasites that are stunted through precise gene deletions (genetically attenuated parasites, or "GAP") could be used as a vaccine that protects against malaria infection. This means that the harmless (attenuated) version of the parasite would interact with the body in the same way as the infective version, but without possibility of causing disease. GAP-vaccination would induce robust immune responses that protect against future infection with malaria.
According to the World Health Organization, there were 219 million documented cases of malaria in 2010, causing the deaths of up to 1.2 million people worldwide. Antimalarial treatments are available to reduce the risk of infection, but as yet there is no effective vaccine against the disease.
Last month, a team of scientists announced the results of a trial with a new kind of malaria vaccine, a whole-parasite preparation weakened by radiation. The trial showed promising results, but the method of vaccination was not optimal, requiring intravenous administration and multiple high doses. This current paper outlines a method of attenuation through genetic engineering rather than radiation, which offers hope for a more consistent vaccine that gives better protection.
"Malaria is one of the world's biggest killers, and threatens 40 percent of the world's population, yet still no effective vaccine exists," said Stefan Kappe, Ph.D., lead author of the paper and professor at Seattle BioMed. "In this paper we show that genetically engineered parasites are a promising, viable option for developing a malaria vaccine, and we are currently engineering the next generation of attenuated parasite strains with the aim to enter clinical studies soon."
For the first time, researchers created a weakened version of the human malaria parasite by altering its DNA. They tested the safety of the new modified parasite by injecting six human volunteers through mosquito bites. Five of the six volunteers showed no infection with the parasite, suggesting that the new genetic technique has potential as the basis for a malaria vaccine.
"Our approach offers a new path to make a protective malaria vaccine that might overcome the limitations of previous development attempts. Genetically engineered parasites potentially provide us with a potent, scalable approach to malaria vaccination," said Kappe. "Our results are very encouraging, providing a strong rationale for the further development of live-attenuated strains using genetic engineering."
This article is "First-in-human evaluation of genetically attenuated Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites administered by bite of Anopheles mosquitoes to adult volunteers", by Dr. Stefan H.I. Kappe, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, et al. The article appears in Vaccine, In Press, published by Elsevier.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Tropical Diseases category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Elsevier. "Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 15 Sep. 2013. Web.
11 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266041>
Elsevier. (2013, September 15). "Mosquito bites deliver potential new malaria vaccine." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266041.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.