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Development of a novel vaccine against Plasmodium vivax malaria using adenovirus of chimpanzee origin and Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) as recombinant vaccines

Cesar and Fabiana in labThis project is in collaboration with:

Leiden University Medical Center: Dr. Chris J. Janse, Head of the Leiden Malaria Research Group, Parasitology, Center of Infectious Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), and Dr Shahid M. Khan, Leiden Malaria Research Group, Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Parasitology, Netherlands.

National Institute of Public Health: Dr Lilia González-Cerón, Regional Research Centre on Public Health of the National Institute of Public Health (Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, CRISP-INSP) Tapachula, Chiapas, México.

Inspired by the Gates malaria forum in 2007, the goal to eradicate malaria has come back to the global health agenda 40 years after the initial commitment by the WHO to eradicate this disease and thus, efforts to prevent and cure the most prevalent and neglected form of malaria caused by P. vivax will increase as a result of this renewed interest. P. vivax is the most widely distributed human malaria, representing the major cause of this disease outside Africa. It is considered that this parasite threatens nearly 40% of the human population.

The aim of this project is to develop a vaccine against the pre-erythrocytic stages of P. vivax parasites using a leading strategy that has proved successful for P. falciparum vaccine development: the use of recombinant chimpanzee adenoviral vector ChAd63 and MVA to induce strong T-cell responses, as well as the use of virus-like particles (VLPs) to stimulate antibody responses. We will target the pre-erythrocytic stage antigens circumsporozoite protein (CS) and thrombospondin related adhesion protein (TRAP), both of which have a central role in hepatocyte invasion by malaria sporozoites injected by mosquitoes.

This project is supported by the Wellcome Trust