New mRNA Vaccine Provides Full Protection Against Malaria in Mice

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Scientists from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Naval Medical Research Center partnered with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Acuitas Therapeutics to establish an unique vaccine based upon mRNA innovation that safeguards versus malaria in animal designs, releasing their findings in npj Vaccines.

In 2019, there were an approximated 229 million cases of malaria and 409,000 deaths worldwide, producing a remarkable expense in regards to human morbidity, death, financial problem, and local social stability. Worldwide, Plasmodium falciparum is the parasite types that triggers the huge bulk of deaths. Those at greatest danger of serious illness consist of pregnant females, kids, and malaria naïve tourists. Malaria countermeasures advancement has actually traditionally been a top priority research study location for the Department of Defense as the illness stays a leading hazard to U.S. military forces released to endemic areas.

A safe, reliable malaria vaccine has actually long been an evasive target for researchers. The most innovative malaria vaccine is RTS,S, a first-generation item established in collaboration with WRAIR. RTS,S is based upon the circumsporozoite protein of P. falciparum, the most hazardous and extensive types of malaria parasite. While RTS,S is an impactful countermeasure in the battle versus malaria, field research studies have actually exposed minimal sterilized effectiveness and period of defense. The restrictions related to RTS,S and other first-generation malaria vaccines have actually led researchers to assess brand-new platforms and second-generation methods for malaria vaccines.

“Recent successes with vaccines against COVID-19 highlight the advantages of mRNA-based platforms — notably highly targeted design, flexible and rapid manufacturing and ability to promote strong immune responses in a manner not yet explored,” stated Dr. Evelina Angov, a scientist at WRAIR’s Malaria Biologics Branch and senior author on the paper. “Our goal is to translate those advances to a safe, effective vaccine against malaria.”

Like RTS,S, the vaccine depends on P. falciparum’s circumsporozoite protein to generate an immune reaction. However, instead of administering a variation of the protein straight, this method utilizes mRNA — accompanied by a lipid nanoparticle that safeguards from early deterioration and assists promote the body immune system — to timely cells to code for circumsporozoite protein themselves. Those proteins then set off a protective reaction versus malaria however cannot in fact trigger infection.

“Our vaccine achieved high levels of protection against malaria infection in mice,” stated Katherine Mallory, a WRAIR scientist at the time of the short article’s submission and lead author on the paper. “While more work remains before clinical testing, these results are an encouraging sign that an effective, mRNA-based malaria vaccine is achievable.”

Reference: “Messenger RNA expressing PfCSP induces functional, protective immune responses against malaria in mice” by Katherine L. Mallory, Justin A. Taylor, Xiaoyan Zou, Ishita N. Waghela, Cosette G. Schneider, Michael Q. Sibilo, Neeraja M. Punde, Leah C. Perazzo, Tatyana Savransky, Martha Sedegah, Sheetij Dutta, Chris J. Janse, Norbert Pardi, Paulo J. C. Lin, Ying K. Tam, Drew Weissman and Evelina Angov, 18 June 2021, npj Vaccines.
DOI: 10.1038/s41541-021-00345-0

Research was performed under an authorized animal usage procedure in an AAALAC International- certified center in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and other federal statutes and guidelines associating with animals and experiments including animals and sticks to concepts mentioned in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, NRC Publication, 2011 edition.



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