Jardim, Juliette

Public Health

ScM

Thailand

Investigation of a Promising Transmission-blocking Vaccine Candidate Against Malaria Parasites in Southeast Asia

Malaria remains a global public health burden. Mosquito resistance to insecticides and parasite resistance to anti-malarial drugs necessitate new approaches to curb infection and transmission. One promising strategy of reducing malaria transmission is through a malaria transmission-blocking vaccine (TBV). Antibodies specific for an alanyl aminopeptidase (APN1) present on the midgut surface of several malariatransmitting mosquito vectors in the Anopheles genus have demonstrated impressive ability to block malaria parasites from invading the mosquito midgut, implicating APN1 as a promising target for a transmissionblocking vaccine antigen. However, natural parasite polymorphisms in endemic regions may limit the utilty of such TBVs that were tested against laboratory strains. In ex vivo field trials in Cameroon, anti-APN1 antibodies (IgG) exhibited sterile blocking (100%) against naturally circulating isolates of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. It is currently unknown whether anti-APN1 IgG inhibits invasion of the species Plasmodium vivax, the primary cause of malaria in South America and Southeast Asia. The goal of this project is to evaluate whether anti-APN1 IgG is effective against the malaria parasite species P. vivax and if it maintains efficacy against genetic variants of P. falciparum that have evolved in other regions of the globe. Transmission-blocking assays using the anti-APN1 antibody will be performed against Thai isolates of P. falciparum and P. vivax in Maesod, Thailand. Subsequently, genetic analysis of Plasmodium isolates will be conducted to allow for further investigation of the limits of the transmission-blocking activity of anti-APN1 IgG by members of the Dinglasan Laboratory.

People

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases
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July 2018

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