Sep 17, 2021
We're used to thinking of vaccines for individual protection. But what about a malaria jab to protect the mosquito?
Finding antigens for a transmission-blocking vaccine to target is a tough job - only two have reached clinical trials. Though given to humans, these vaccines aim to disrupt the malaria lifecycle in the mosquito, and scientists have now found that Pf77 and male development gene 1 (PfMDV-1) could be potential candidates. In the lab, mice immunised with these antigens successfully developed antibodies against them. Researchers then isolated these antibodies from the mice and fed them to mosquitoes - along with malaria parasites - to test if they can inhibit parasite development. Indeed, they reduced the number of oocysts - the form of the parasite containing transmissible sporozoites - by up to 93%. And when researchers looked in Ghanaian adults naturally exposed to malaria, they found antibodies to these proteins, suggesting natural exposure could boost responses elicited by vaccination.
About The Podcast
The Johns Hopkins Malaria Minute podcast is produced by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute to highlight impactful malaria research and share with the global community.