A study led by scientists at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) identifies a gene that activates a protective response in the malaria parasite against high temperatures and other adverse conditions within the host. The study identifies the transcription factor PfAP2-HS that generates the protective heat-shock response in the parasite and is also important for maintaining protein stability in the parasite at basal temperatures. These findings settle the long-standing mystery regarding how the malaria parasite manages to survive the high periodic fevers in infected patients.
A mouse model preclinical study evaluates a malaria vaccine developed against a coat protein of the malaria parasite P. falciparum that is well expressed in cell lines and is immunogenic in mice, providing sterilizing immune protection in homologous and heterologous transgenic rodent models. The vaccine consists of the circumsporozoite coat protein delivered through a lipid nanoparticle that protects and delivers the mRNA to the cell translation machinery while enhancing immune response.
Scientists have discovered two new antigens in a species of malaria-causing parasite P. falciparum that elicit antibodies that appear in humans and are linked with lower malaria transmission in mice. The findings that could inform the development of a malaria vaccine that disrupts the parasite’s life cycle and prevents the transmission of malaria.